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4639 Sawmill Creek Road
Sitka, Alaska 99835

907 747-3032

Fortress Of The Bear an educational bear rescue center located in Sitka, Alaska. We bring orphaned bears from all over the state of Alaska and find homes for them in zoos and sanctuaries internationally.  We currently have 8 resident orphaned bears in 3 separate enclosures.  These enclosures mimic the natural settings that they would normally be found.  Visitors view from above in a covered area and have the opportunity to observe and photographic their continuous antics.


Goodbye, Balloo...

Claire Turner

October 19th, 2017

It is with heavy hearts and deep sadness that we announce, today our beloved Balloo walked into the Forest. While we do not know yet what caused his body to fail, we do know his quality of life had diminished to a place where all hope was lost. He had the best care we could offer and was on a regimen of medications mitigating the pain, addressing his loss of mobility and flexibility and it was hoped, muscle healing.

Balloo and his siblings joined us when they were orphaned at 1 ½ years old. Many experts felt they were too old to adapt to a life in captivity and suggested they be euthanized, we thought otherwise and offered them an alternative. Within a very short time they were be hand fed and playing in their new home. Balloo, showed himself, early on to be the leader and the most intelligent of the group.

Balloo will be deeply missed by his family here at Fortress. He had such a unique and engaging personality and special ways of relating to and communicating with those who knew him best. It has been our privilege to have had him with us for 7 years and to have been given the opportunity to offer him a home where he could get to know and live with his siblings and extended family.

His support from Sitkans and beyond and our generous Facebook community deserves a huge thank you. Our vet Dr. Michelle Oakley, came with 8 bags of equipment; her flight handled skillfully with Alaska Airlines not only footing the bill, but laying the ground work for all the trip entailed. Aspen Hotel suites stepped up and offered a stay in their beautiful hotel. Bev Caldwell hosted Dr. Oakley in her lovely home during her time in Sitka. All aided with an A team of professionals, all of whom offered their expertise - Dr. Burgess Bauder, Dr. Richard Wein, ADF&G Biologist Steve Bethune and Drs. Elizabeth Decker and Jeffrey Reinhardt. We will never be able to repay their support and generosity.

Balloo’s legacy lives on. Our hearts are broken.

A Well Overdue Update!

Claire Turner

It's been a while since we added an entry to our journal! With you wonderful people supporting our social media accounts on facebook and instagram with your great photos and witty comment, I think it's a little too easy to forget about our website. We'll try to rectify that! 

September is creeping up on us, so our busy summer season is starting to wind down for the year. We've had a great year so far, with our facility seeing one of it's biggest makeovers to date!

The Xentropa team; Ben Disney, Pete Vernetti and Dave Rodriguez, donated their time and skills, and took on the huge challenge of redecorating the outside of one of our brown bear enclosures. Those of you that have visited, are sure to remember the orange tiled tank, which didn't make the best first impression, or do Fortress justice.

Their first challenge was to remove the build up of calcium deposits that had leeched from the old tank through the tiles. Then add a base coat if white primer. And finally, paint the whole thing green!

As if that wasn't a big enough donation, they proceeded to paint the red and blue fence in the black bear enclosure, to match! The black bear cubs enjoyed a vacation into a vacated brown bear enclosure, while their habitat was spruced up.

And finally, the front of our viewing deck got the green treatment too. Everything looks so amazing, we just can't thank the Xentropa team enough, and Sherwin-Williams for donating all the paint.

We are so lucky to meet such wonderful people that are passionate about our project and choose to get involved in creative ways! You can see lots of progress photos here: 'The Green Tiles Project'. What do you think of the makeover?