Osijek photographer Mario Romulić warns of a unique European natural phenomenon which began to disappear after razor wire was erected on the Hungarian border
When Hungarian authorities lay razor wire during last year along the border with Croatia, their main goal was to halt the entrance of migrants into their state. However, the uncontrolled arrival of migrants from Croatia never occurred, but the razor wire created lots of other problems in everyday life. The largest of which is faced by animals which are injured by it. Many get entangled and die in awful anguish. This is what Osijek photographer Mario Romulić warns of, himself a renowned photographer in Croatia, reported Večernji List on October 30, 2016.
“Razor wire was never an issue for people. They can bypass it easily since day one. It was enough to cut it with tools or simply find a way to step over it. However, animals cannot do this and they get hurt. Their movement and migrations are thwarted,” said Romulić who spoke of the problem for Fox News.
He warns especially of an issue with a large deer herd that used to migrate across the border for decades. Used to moving around without obstacles, especially razor wire, the deer spent their days in Hungary, crossing to Croatia in the evening until the morning. In the past years they enjoyed peace, as the border areas have limited human activity. Those migrations have been missing for a year now. Romulić explains this is a big problem for the 2.000-strong herd. “I have been following the herd for a long time. It’s a fascinating sight when 2.000 deer move in a direction. It’s a natural phenomenon which may not be seen in Europe elsewhere. Unfortunately, it’s gone and it’s a question if it will ever continue even if the wire is removed soon,” said Romulić. The razor wire not only disrupts migrations but also reproduction as the herd was divided, with the larger part in Hungary. It’s a question if the herd will ever be as large as it was last year. Romulić claims not only deer are endangered but also other animals in the 120.000 hectare area that stretches in protected areas of Croatia, Serbia and Hungary.
Hence he feels everything must be done for the wire to be removed from at least that area so animals could continue living as before. “Animals are different than people so there may not be migrations even if the wire is removed. There have been cases in history when certain border were secured with electrical fences. When the fences were finally removed after many years, the animals still did not cross borders. The fence simply entered their genetic code. We hope this will not happen here and that we will again witness deer migrations,” said Romulić who has been in photography many years. During his rich career he worked with a line of domestic and international media, agencies and companies. He photographed various events, crises, protests, even wars around the world. His first wartime images were made during the Homeland War in Croatia, followed by wars in Bosnia, Ruanda, Congo, Afghanistan… With thousand of photos touring the world, his rich career brought him a need to vent some steam. This is how he began to photograph animals.
“Kopački Rit is in the vicinity of Osijek so I used to go there to relax. It’s an oasis of nature, no smartphones, laptops, internet, ideal for rest from everyday duties and stress. I brought along once the camera and began my hobby. Now I use every free moment, when in Osijek, to go to Kopački Rit and photograph nature and animals in it,” said Romulić.
He’ s been labelled as the good spirit of Kopački Rit whose camera created photographs of never before seen sights of animals in this nature park. Along with this, he is also the winner of many awards and recognitions. Romulić and his partner Dražen Stojčić have been running the Romulić&Stojčić agency for years. They have many clients so he says their workplace is all of Croatia. Their clients are tourism boards, hotels, companies, national parks and nature parks, banks, ministries and other institutions. “A quality photograph is not gained easily. The best from a moment must be extracted. Patience, calm and a bit of art makes a great photograph. Naturally, quality equipment is also needed. When photographing animals, the decisive moment is key. Very often the photographer has only one chance at an attractive photograph. If he makes it – great, but if not such an opportunity may never come again,” concluded Romulić.