Aurnia, the brown bear rescued from captivity by Donegal sanctuary, passes away

Aurnia, the brown bear rescued from captivity by Donegal sanctuary, passes away

A BEAR which was rescued from captivity by an Irish wildlife sanctuary has passed away.

The Wild Ireland sanctuary, based in County Donegal, is utterly unique in that it rescues abused or captive wild animals and releases them into the swathes of isolated countryside owned by the sanctuary.

Wild Ireland is home to wild boars, lynxes, wolves, foxes and bears and many more, and allows ticket holders to see the animals in their natural habitat while ensuring the beasts are safe from hunters and poachers.

The sanctuary made headlines earlier this year when a wild boar gave birth to a litter of hoglets; the first time the formerly-native animals had been born in the wild in Ireland for 800 years.

A documentary series on the sanctuary was also aired on RTÉ earlier this year.


The newest update from Wild Ireland and owner Killian McLaughlin is a sad one, however, as he announced theat one of their brown bears, Aurnia 'the golden lady' had died following complications from surgery.

Aurnia our golden European brown bear 🐻

#bear #brownbear

📷Desmond Loughery

Posted by Wild Ireland on Wednesday, 26 August 2020

Taking to Facebook with a video message for all of Wild Ireland's supporters, Killian shared photographs of the beautiful brown bear and her time at the sanctuary and explained what had happened.

Auria had dental surgery for two broken canines which were causing her pain, and the team of specialist vets knew anaesthetic was risky-- "but even more risky when you're dealing with a large wild animal like a bear".

"Sadly, during the procedure Aurnia stopped breathing."


Dedicated animal lover Killian said he had performed CPR on Aurnia for about 45 minutes to try and save her life-- "but unfortunately we couldn't get her to start breathing again and we lost her."

"As you know, Aurnia had a pretty miserable start to life," heartbroken Killian went on.

"She was kept in a cage, behind bars in Lithuania. She was here for just over a year and in that time she had a pretty good life here.

"That's the only thing that's consoling us all. We all loved her dearly."

The video ended with heartwarming clips of Aurnia exploring freedom for the first time-- eating, swimming and playing with fellow brown bears.

"She had at least one good year of her life here, probably the best year of her life here at Wild Ireland.

"I'd like to remember her like that."