Croatia

Close to the Adriatic Sea the Velebit National Park is situated North-South at a length of 150 km. The region if still home for bears and other carnivores. The growing pressure from traffic made many casualties, as the increasing number of locals resettling the region created many incidents. Due to this pressure there are several “problem bears” that have to be taken out of the wild and placed in a sanctuary.

Meanwhile many groups of interest have come to the conclusion that cooperation is the only way to create a common platform in order to find relevant solutions for nature conservation  and its management. A unique management agreement was signed between hunting associations, forest owners, ministries, scientific institutions and conservationists. Now there is a solid plan to conserve nature supported by all relevant groups.

In Kuterevo some years ago a small shelter for problem bears was created to educate and teach the visitors. Mostly school children and people from the region visit the site. In recent years many tourists are attracted as it is the only reasonable way to see bears in their ‘original’ habitat. The project is heavily supported by the local village and their commercial partners, international volunteers and international nongovernmental organizations. In order to keep up the standards it is necessary to refurbish and to enlarge it, and to acquire the adjacent land for this purpose.

Development of bear enclosures

Many zoos in Central and Eastern Europe, but also in adjacent regions as Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan and even more to the east, originate from the middle of the last century (1950). Due to lack of up to date information, bad management qualities and lack of funding these zoos are in a deplorable situation. The housing of the animals, and certainly bears, is of a very low standard. Everywhere there are only concrete and steel constructions without any natural facilities for the bears to play their natural behaviours. As IBF has a long experience in zoo management and restyling zoos, these zoos can be helped to renovate the enclosures, to improve management and to link the zoos to western based zoos. Renovation of old fashioned bear enclosures is not that difficult. It can be done cheap and in a short time span. And not only bears like it, it is even very much appreciated by the visitors. Renovation of zoos always starts with linking zoos to foster zoos, to train the management and the staff  and to make a solid financial budget plan as money is always tight.

Read: Skopje Zoo in Macedonia and about Pistoia Zoo in Italy.

Kosovo

On this page latest updates are listed on the Kosovo projects:

  • Report on the visit to Sharri National Park
  • A visit to Kosovo /Pristine

Romania

On this page the latest updates about the Romanian projects are listed:

  • bear problems in Romania( November 2014)
  • visit to Focsani/Romania (June 2011)
  • Meeting with Sergey Kolchin( biologists from Russian Far East- see his reports elsewhere)