03 / 04 / 2019
Bristol Bears have a new bear in their team
Bristol Bears’ rugby team today lifted the final bear in place at Wild Place Project ready for the grand opening of the Big Bear Sculpture Trail.
Members of the Premiership side’s first team took a break from training to visit the wildlife attraction and help put the six-foot high bear painted in their club colours into position.
But not before they had some fun lifting their bear in a practice line-out. They then carried the bear to a spot that had been specially chosen for him near the giraffe paddock.
The Bristol Bear has been painted in the side’s home shirt colours and including the club’s famous badge. Illustrator Jessica Perrin travelled from her studio in Birmingham to paint him in the eye-catching strip.

 ​Mark Tainton, Bristol Bears’ chief operating officer, said: "We're delighted to be part of such a fantastic project and to throw our support behind the sculpture trail, as well as the exciting Bear Wood exhibit at Wild Place Project. 
"It's a privilege to have our own customised bear and it's tremendous that brown bears will be returning to the city for the first time in hundreds of years."
The Bristol Bear is one of 20 bear sculptures that make up a new Big Bear Sculpture Trail at Wild Place Project. It officially opens on Saturday (April 6) and includes bears painted in a variety of guises by artists from Bristol and around the UK.
Justin Morris, chief executive of Bristol Zoological Society, which owns and runs Wild Place Project, said: “We were thrilled to welcome the Bristol Bears here today and it’s marvellous that the Bristol Bears’ sculpture is the final one to be put in place.

“It completes this wonderful trail that will thrill all of our visitors over the coming months. We hope that everyone who follows the Bristol Bears will come to see their bear sculpture and have their picture taken alongside it.”
Other bears include ‘Builder Bear’, who sports a bright yellow hardhat and hi-vis jacket; and ‘Sunset Bear’, which celebrates Bristol, its people, and the Great British summer.
There are also ‘Bear'get our Ninja On’, painted by Bristol-based CBBC Art Ninja presenter, Ricky Martin, as well as abstract and storytelling bears, which include a European folk bear, an explorer, and an operatic bear named ‘Enrico Bearuso’.
The Big Bear Sculpture Trail comes ahead of the opening of a new exhibit called Bear Wood at Wild Place Project this July. It will see European brown bears, lynx, wolves and wolverine returned to UK woodland for the first time in hundreds of years as part of a new exhibit covering seven and a half acres.
Visitors to Bear Wood will be able to walk through the exhibit on a raised walkway that will wind its way through the trees. New, 180-degree, floor-to-ceiling glass viewing areas and ‘dens’ will give visitors an up-close view of the animals living alongside each other in British woodland as they would have done in years gone by.
The Big Bear Sculpture Trail has been organised and managed by Bristol Zoological Society – the charity that owns and runs Wild Place Project – alongside Wild in Art – an organisation that produces popular art events which entertain, inform, enrich and leave a lasting legacy.
Each of the 20 bears has been sponsored by local businesses and organisations including: E.L.M Legal Services, Gemini, UWE, Dribuild, Burger Bear, Hollis Morgan, Bristol Sport, Cedar Care, Elmtree Garden Contractors Ltd as well as a number of generous individuals.
The Big Bear Sculpture Trail will be at Wild Place Project from April 6th. ​Click here to book your tickets!

​We'd love to see your snaps of our Big Bear Sculpture Trail, upload photos of your favourite bear to social media, using the hashtag: #BigBearSculptureTrail
Sign up to our newsletter using the form below to receive the latest Wild Place news.
First Name:
Last Name:
Your Email: