Cercado Osero

Wildlife Reserve in Senda del Oso

About 5.5km south of Tuñón (or a 1.1km walk south from the Área Recreativa Buyera, where cars can park), the Senda del Oso cycling and hiking path reaches the Cercado Osero, a 40,000-sq-metre hillside compound that's home to three female Cantabrian brown bears: Paca, Tola and Molina. The two older bears, Paca and Tola, were orphaned as cubs by a hunter in 1989. Since 2008, they've lived in a second 7000-sq-metre enclosure just below the path at the same spot.

A fourth (male) bear, Furaco, was brought in from Cantabria’s Parque de la Naturaleza Cabárceno with hopes of breeding with Paca and Tola, and now shares the same enclosure. Hopes that baby bears might ensue were abandoned in 2011, but Paca, Tola and Furaco were joined in 2013 by then-one-year-old Molina, who failed to integrate back into the wild after being treated for life-threatening injuries. Molina now lives in the upper compound and is often out of sight. Paca and Tola are usually (but not always) fed in their lower enclosure at around noon, which is your best chance of seeing them.

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