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Bear Mascha, the former dancing bear who lived in the Bear Forest in Ouwehand Zoo since 1994, has passed away. Due to the fact that she had a lot of trouble walking she received a medical check. Scans showed she had severely worn elbows and knees. Unfortunately these ailments cannot be cured. To save Mascha any suffering, it was decided to put her to sleep.

Together with bear Batir, Mascha was a big attraction in the Russian State Circus from Moscow. Each day Mascha was muzzled and whipped into the pit to perform her tricks. When the circus visited The Netherlands in 1994 the complaints were almost uncountable. Following this massive upheaval, the bears were confiscated by the National Inspection for Animal health. After being sheltered elsewhere for a short time, Batir and Mascha were transported to the Bear Forest. With her chocolatebrown fur, round ears and blind eye Mascha was a distinctive personality in the Bear Forest. Ouwehand Zoo and Bears in Mind are happy that Mascha was able to enjoy her perfect life in the Bear Forest for over 20 years.