Search icon


23rd Oct 2019

Brown bears to return to Irish shores for the first time in thousands of years

Sarah Finnan

It’s not all bad news all the time folks.

Wild Ireland, a new 23-acre wildlife sanctuary in Donegal, is set to introduce some furry friends to Irish soil.

The soon-to-be-home to a beautiful lynx named Naoise, there will also be deer, wild boar, wolves and for the first time in thousands of years, brown bears.

Local Donegal man Killian McLaughlin is responsible for the project. A solicitor and zoologist from Buncrana, he worked with international charities to rescue and rehabilitate animals from dangerous places.

What a hero.

Having spent over six years preparing the site, it’s perfectly suited to each of the species relocating there.

Opening to the public this Friday, it’s the first project of its kind to introduce bears back to Ireland.

The mammals, which roamed the country when our hunter-gatherer ancestors arrived, became extinct in Ireland during the Bronze Age.

Described as “a truly unique attraction for the Wild Atlantic Way”, the brown bears are sure to be a big hit with locals and foreigners alike.

READ NEXT: Roz Purcell shares another body positive message ahead of new year