After reading about the Medveotthon or Bear House over a year ago, we have wanted to visit. We had intended to make the trek this summer with our friend Dan, but either he was out of the country, was busy or we had B and B guests and could not take off. Time flies and eventually you have to make a decision to do what you want without putting it off any longer. Friday, we decided that Sunday was the day regardless.
Dan could not make it, but our friend Kat came along. Now according to the original article pointing the existence of this attraction in some English print media, it directed potential visitors to take a train to Versegyház and then walk from there. The blurb stated it was about 2 km from the station, not a bad walk. It is about 1 mile.
We met up with Kat at Nyugati station at 9:45 am, bought our tickets and ran for the train that was to leave shortly after 10 am. We rode for about 50 minutes before reaching our destination. Once there, we had a choice of 3 directions to head off in, but none were marked with bear signs, bear tracks or even claw markings. Ron is completely uninhibited about asking directions, whether he has full comprehension with the response or not, had us walking in the direction suggested by some gentleman at the station. What we heard coming from his mouth that all three of us comprehended was: 4 km (2 miles) to the park. Not deterred at the mileage, we walked, asked directions, followed vague signs, and walked some more. As we travailed over what seemed like a 6 mile hike, we passed a tremendously friendly shaggy haired dog that wanted to adopt us as toys, a Hungarian grey cow farm, and finally a horse ranch with a riding school. We finally arrived at the parking lot for the Bear Home.
The entrance fee was 500 Ft for Kat and 400 Ft for Ron and me, the senior rate. The woman must have misunderstood my rate, so I received a discount. Our brochure was in English so we were advised there were bears, wolves, reindeer, raccoons, what they call probascidean bears, and ostrich. What is a probascidean bear? Kat discovered it is called a coatimundi in English. I have seen them in zoos before.
We learned this bear home was created in November 1998, the first in Central Europe to house bears. Two years later, wolves were added to the 5.5 hectares of developed land. Ten years later, the raccoons made this their home too. How they came to choose this variety of wildlife is not answered in the brochure.
Within the bear enclaves are 12 narrow, but deep caves for them to hibernate. There are plenty of trees for them to climb and get shade during hot weather as well as a lake for them to bath, drink, or cool off. Visitors can purchase honey and are provided with long wooden sticks with which to feed the bears.
Wolves are divided into sections covering 120 square meters. We were not sure why they were divided, because it was apparent there were different breeds of wolves mixed within sections. Wolves in the largest section also have an artificial lake and they have a wooded area to roam and exercise.
All of us agreed, the bears looked ultra-huggable, but those long claws were overdue for a manicure. Regardless, you cannot help but finding them to be nature’s magnificent creations.
You can see the rest of my photos here.
Visit the bears, wolves and others which can be adopted too, but not taken home.
Patak u. 39