Formerly known as the Orsa Björnpark (Bear Park), the predator park in Orsa was a 325 000 m2 zoo housing big predators from the northern hemisphere, like wolves, brown bears, polar bears, kodiak bears, mountain owls, lynx, wolverines, Siberian tigers, Persian leopards and snow leopards. It was opened in 1986 and became the largest of its kind in Europe. We visited the park in May, and unfortunately, it had to close its doors for visitors from 07 November 2022.
After getting our very own original Dala Horse from a factory in Nusnäs, we drove northward to check out Orsa. It was my first time in such a predator park, and it was a very interesting experience. For one, the park was humongous, and it was probably the only chance I’d get (well, hopefully the only chance as well) to witness predators like wolves. And I’m telling you, those dogs are huge. The park gave the feeling that the animals there owned it. Disclaimer: I do not condone the caging of animals. I only support zoos and nature parks that contribute to the conservation of animals and plants, and treat wildlife with respect.
The park also had museums with interesting facts about the animals, like this bear paw print.
The first predators we saw were the wolves. Lately, some residents saw a pack of 11 wolves near Stockholm – I wouldn’t want to bear witness to these huge dogs in the wild, but I had always wondered how they’d look like in real life.
You see those powerful hooves?
In order to get to the bear watching platform, visitors had to walk a stretch of paved pathway and up a hill. It can be strenouos for some. It was worth it though – one could see miles and miles of Swedish central forests and lakes. The bear cubs were also fun to watch, as they played with each other.
We also appreciated watching the leopards. They’re like big cuddly kittens, acted a lot like Missy.. but not.
Now, the star of the show – the polar bears. Very entertaining to watch a cub swim, flip its white fur, and play with a ball. We sat in the building watching it for minutes. I also got some free postcards from the Polar World section.
Aside from the animals, there’s an obstacle course where children could play and make use of their excess energy.
Orsa Predator Park was in heat a couple of years back, after an 18-year old died in a bear enclosure in 2017. I could imagine how hard it was to maintain a huge predator park, but that wasn’t an excuse on the issue of safety. According to news articles, the boy was supposed to clean the enclosure together with a visiting family with two children. However, the beards managed to get into the enclosure and attacked the boy. The family managed to escape through the fence. Later on, the managers of the zoo were charged of wrongdoing due to the deficiences in working environment. (https://www.arbetarskydd.se/arbetsmiljoratten/18-aringen-hann-inte-fly-undan-bjornens-attack-6989947) I didn’t know about this incident until we visited the park, to be honest.
On November 07, the park was officially closed to the public, and according to their website, they are in the process of relocating the animals. (https://www.orsarovdjurspark.se/) The reason stated was due to declining number of visitors and bankruptcy.
Anyway, such is life. We stayed one more camping night in Mora. Then, we headed home, taking the long drive, stopping along the way to capture some of the fine natural scenery, and then took the ferry from Strömstad, Sweden to Sandefjord, Norway.
The ferry ride was pretty smooth, and I even got to enjoy a yummy cake. I miss cakes 😦
Well, it was a nice long weekend trip to Mora, Sweden. Would love to see more of Scandinavia in the future! This is all for now. Cheers to more travels and roadtrips! #spreadloveandpositivevibes
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