WWF Adria Takes to Risnjak National Park with Slovakian Guests

Lauren Simmonds

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As Marinko Krmpotich/Novi list writes, representatives of WWF Adria, the nature protection association, accompanied around a dozen guests from Slovakia, journalists and nature conservationists, as well as employees of local state institutions paying a visit to the country to get better acquainted with Croatian experiences related to Risnjak National Park in relation to the proper protection of large carnivores. A special emphasis was placed on the part of the system related to the possibility of the peaceful and safe coexistence of large carnivores and humans.

Namely, as Neven Slopar, the project manager explained, the goal of the guests from Slovakia was to showcase some positive examples of coexistence with large and potentially dangerous native carnivores because it is much easier to find negative aspects and bad ”meetings” between the two in the Slovakian media space.

”The LIFE EuroLargeCarnivores project aims to improve the coexistence between humans and large carnivores across Europe. Since this is at a level higher here in Croatia than it is a number of other areas, during our multi-day stay at Risnjak National Park we allowed our Slovakian guests to visit the bear sanctuary in Kuterevo, the Centre for Large Carnivores in Stara Susica, as well as to engage in conversations on this topic with locals who discussed potential business benefits from the presence of large carnivores in their area,” said Slopar.

WWF Adria’s Slovakian guests in turn expressed satisfaction with everything they witnessed not only at Risnjak National Park but across the Republic of Croatia as a whole when it comes to ensuring the full legal protection of large European carnivores, the lynx, the wolf and the brown bear.

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