Bear´s nest- giving an insight into the unique history of discovery

Who would have thought it? Behind such an inconspicuous crack in the rock lies a cave with such spectacular findings!

Having dug up the cave entrance, Rebecca Caspani and Martin Trüssel reached the bear cave Fürenalp for the first time on the 25th October 2021. They had been searching for undiscovered caves around Engelberg. Toni Matter, co-owner of the Fürenalp, informed them about the inconspicuous crack in the rock.

After a very tight and narrow decent, from which rocks and scree first had to be cleared away, they discovered a roughly 4m long and 2m high chamber. Lying across the scree floor were long, hollow bones and a partly disintegrated lower jaw, which had lost all its teeth. At first glance the experts knew the bones must be from a brown bear.

How old could this bear be? It is difficult to say. As they were lying on the surface of the scree, they could be a couple of hundred years old, possibly much older. This can only be clarified by radiometric age determination (14C – Datierung).

Excavation with surprises - two of them lived on the Fürenalp 9500 and 12400 years ago. In particular, the oldest post-glacial brown bear found in Central Switzerland.

The small but nice exhibition "Bear's Nest" gives an insight into the unique history of discovery and the life of a bear. It is not only interesting for adults but also children find something to discover. The cave near the "Grotzliweg" itself is not open for public. The exhibition "Bear's Nest" is close to the mountain station Fürenalp. Enjoy the journey through time.