Wilderness in Transylvania
Bilder aus dem Projekt:
Propark Foundation for Protected Areas
Lungă Street, no 175, Brașov, România
Carpaterra Asociation, Bucegi Natural Park Administration, Pro Szent Anna, Local Sheppard, Liberty Bear Sanctuary
Ziel der Aktion:
The students from Junior Ranger Mercheasa learned about the behavior of large carnivores, their "relationship" with humans and how experts manage different situations in their work of conservation.
We organized 4 guided trips, each of it having a different theme as it follows: Visit Liberty Bear Sanctuary (116 bears have been rescued from an abusive nightmare life, in tiny cages compared to the necessary space these animals need. This bears live now in 69 hectares of oak forest, with trees where the bears can climb, swimming pools where they can splash, food and medical care), visit a sheep fold located in the middle of a meadow with secular oaks (understanding the way a Shepard is managing the flock and carnivore attack, what defending methods he is using, what is the role of large carnivore in our forests - do we need them?, what kind of dogs are protecting them, is electric fence a good ideea? etc), visit Bucegi Natural Park (how the administration is monitoring the larg carnivores, do they hunt them?, what issues do they have regarding the relationship between carnivore and tourism?) and Saint Ana Lake (this is a touristic place, frequented by many bears - here we discussed about bears monitoring, useful touristic infrastructure, how we have to behave in forest/ with wild animals/ if we meet a bear.)
The pupils were surprised to find out that in Bucegi Natural Park live a lot of bears - approx. 120, how the experts are monitoring them and how to react if they meet one in the forest. Even though they were born in Mercheasa village where it's an ordinary thing so see/ meet/ hear stories about large carnivores, they were amazed to see that there is a large domain that studies them and that they matter in the ecosistem.
The most interesting trip was to Saint Ana Lake: this is a touristic area, frequented by many bears. Here we have seen special dumpsters designed in such way that the wild animals cannot overturn and/or eat from them. The students understood why it's not a good thing to feed the wild animals, what we can do in order to avoid meeting them in the forest and most importantly what we have to do if we suddenly face them. Regarding the last point we mention: step back slowly while keeping our head towards the bear but avoiding eye contact (never turn your back, and never run!), in case he follows us we can raise our hands up in order to look very big, to drop the bag / jacket, to have an anti-bear spray ready to use. Usually bears do not attack humans, sometimes they associates us with food because some people are feeding them so they come closer to us. Or they are defending if we are to close or if they are protecting their cubs. We should not be scared to hike in mountains, but we have to be careful and respectful because in the end nature is their home.
It is important to facilitate the meeting between students and experts, because not all the time they will know what to ask in order to receive the most useful and interesting information.