Bern Bear Pits: Legend has it that the founder of Bern, Berchtold V von
Zähringen, killed a bear on the Aare peninsula and this led to the town being
called Bern (from German "Bär") and explains why the city's coat of arms
features a bear.
The existing Bern Bear Pits have been in the same location
since 1857. In 1995/96 most areas of the Bear Pits underwent renovation with the
aim of providing the bears with a habitat more naturally suited to them.
Nowadays the Bear Pits house two Pyrenean brown bears (Pedro and Tana - photo
The bears are out in the open every day:
in summer time from 09.30 to 17.00 hours
in winter time from 09.30 to 16.30 hours
Bern Bear Park: The existing Bear Pits are to be turned into a Bear Park.
The project was launched in April 2003 and aims to create two bear enclosures
measuring over 10 000 m2 in which the bears will be able to be outdoors all day
throughout the year (in winter caves).
"Bear food" for visitors to give to the bears is available at the Bear Pits.
The cost is estimated at approximately 7 million Swiss francs.