Croatia: the home of brown bear

Croatia is a very diverse country, it has a seaside, flatland, and the mountains. The mountainous region of two Croatian counties, Lika and Gorski Kotar are places with abundant wildlife. Because of harsh winters not many people live there so there is plenty of space for wild animals and on the top of the food chain are the brown bears. This is mighty animal, full-grown male weighs on average between 250 and 300 kilograms, and reaches a maximum weight of 481 kg with a length of nearly 2.5 m. Females typically range between 150 and 250 kg. Although terrifying to see these gentle giants are shy, avoiding close encounters with humans and will rather run than attack. In Croatia live more than 1000 brown bears in a relatively small area, this is considered the maximal sustainable number and this is one of the densest populations of brown bears in Europe.

On mountain Velebit in village Kuterevo there is a shelter for the bears. The bears that were found as cubs if their mother is killed (usually in traffic accidents) than these cubs will be taken to this refugee whree care will be taken of them. the bears will spend their entire life here living in a large valley surrounded by an electric fence. Once the bears get used to human presence and feeding they will seek human company if they would be released in a wild, which could culminate tragically. Kuterevo bear refugee is well organized and it can be visited by tourists. Some of the volunteers there will usually guide people through the shelter and visitors can support this organization through donations.