bear Tom

Bear Tom (1988 - 2023)

Water loving senior bear


Tom was born in 1988 in an animal park in Ostrava in the Czech Republic. When he was four months old, he and his brother Jerry were sold to an animal-tamer and were kept in an animal park in Austria until 1993. There, Tom had to perform daily in the so-called 'bear school'. In 1994, his owner founded a circus called the 'Golden Circus' with the brother bears as one of its main attractions. From now on, they both lived 'on the road', travelling across Europe in a small wagon.

FOUR PAWS made efforts to rescue the two bears from 1995 and was finally successful when a joint agreement was reached in 2000. The bears were transferred to the BEAR SANCTUARY Arbesbach. Tom's brother Jerry died in 2020, but visitors could still watch Tom playing around in the water and enjoying his favourite food.

At the beginning of april 2023, we had to say goodbye to our beloved senior bear Tom. Unfortunately, his health has deteriorated in the last days of his life. After a long period of observation by our animal caretakers it was decided together with our veterinarian to euthanize Tom peacefully in his usual environment.  

23 years ago, we had the pleasure to welcome this special bear, together with his brother Jerry (who unfortunately left us in 2020), in our BEAR SANCTUARY Arbesbach. Before his arrival, Tom had to perform tricks as a circus bear for many years. After a bear-unworthy life, with a lot of suffering and pain, Tom could come to rest and enjoy his life as a bear. He reached a very high age – 35 years. He has shown every day how nice it is to be here – whether it be on his daily walks through the enclosure, eating with the crows, or even bathing in the pond. With his calm and relaxed manner, he has found his way into every heart  – be it the heart of our visitors or the entire team in BEAR SANCTUARY Arbesbach.

Dear Tom, you have left a huge gap. We will never forget and always miss you!

Rest in peace, Tom!

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