November 12 is a special day in our souls. It’s the day we remember the most beloved bear in the AMP Libearty sanctuary – our dear Max. The echo of gentle Max’s departure still reverberates among the leaves of the sanctuary, but it is also a day when we have hope because the void left behind by Max is filled by the one who now needs us the most – Alisa and the one who always protects her – the beautiful Timka .
Every time we pass by Max’s pen, we glance out of the corner of our eye, maybe, maybe we catch a glimpse of him…at least a little. Hope to see his soft fur one more time, playing with his log, that bow of the head as a short greeting, a snort… 13 years Max was with us and day by day we tried to repair the harm that a man has done. Maybe the giant Max has been slained by the evil man who blinded, tortured and used him for 9 years, maybe he even resigned, but in the forest AMP Libearty he learned that people can be good and here no one passes by carelessly around him.
Hearing his story, thousands of visitors promised themselves that they would no longer be indifferent. Even if his eyes couldn’t see us, Max felt us and knew how much he was loved, and now, 4 years after he left for Ursa Major, we want him to know that he will never be forgotten.
Coincidence or divine sign? Exactly on the day when it was 2 years since his death, also on November 12, our dear Max’s pen was occupied by another bear with sight problems, Alisa, but also by her life partner, Timka.
Alisa is small, shy and disheveled, and the wounds of the past are visible. When you see her and when you find out the torment she was subjected to without any fault you can’t help but shudder. Frightened startle at the slightest noise, most likely due to long years in the circus with harsh training, blinding lights and stinging whips…
No one knows how or when she lost her sight, what is certain is that she came into the care of the AMP team when it was too late and she could no longer be helped. But she sniffed us for a long time and somehow knew that no one would hurt her here. Alisa’s first steps in the sanctuary forest were taken in complete silence, only the ravens and the wind among the leaves could be heard. She eased out of the carrier and timidly walked over to the first tree, sat down and sniffed it. She was home! She was safe!
Today, when you see Alisa, if you don’t know she can’t see you don’t realize because she knows every stone, log or tree in her house and now she trusts people and is no longer afraid.
Timka is an exception as bears that have lived too many years in captivity do not grow very large. It is a powerful bear that looks you straight in the eye. He knows that the sanctuary is his home and somehow he shows you that you have to respect him.
That’s why November 12th is more than an ordinary day. It’s the day we lost a part of our soul, but we also gained the opportunity to show these kings of the forest love and respect.