Photography by jkrikis
Photography by jkrikis
Yiannis Boutaris started and supported the idea of protecting wild life and is today the president of the center “Arktouros” which protects the Brown Bear and the Wolf, both in danger of extinction, as well as other animals. Initially the idea was to protect the Bear “dancer” which was really a shame to be going on among civilised people. Unfortunately it is still going on in neighboring countries such as Romania…. In Greece it was prohibited by law.
The practice was to capture a baby bear, kill his mother and then train it to “dance and mimic” for money. They made the bears dance and “perform” in the streets. It was awful and unacceptable because bears would forget their natural instincts and would not be able to survive in the wild anymore.
This excellently organised refuge offers a guided tour to the site where bears live freely in a large fenced area of the forest. Food is provided to them of course as well as a suitable structure for them to rest and to hibernate. The wolves that are housed in the Aetos center are wounded or sick animals that are kept until they recuperate.
The people of Arktouros have been working hard and have also contributed a lot to the protection of the environment with the cooperation of the Greek Ministry and other organisations in the Balkans and elsewhere. They use ecological sources of energy and organise seminars for the education of the public especially of young people.
Many volunteers from all over the world come to enjoy the unique environment working at the same time at the center, including assistance in the function and maintenance of the Environmental Center, in public awareness campaigns, in research programmes and fieldwork. The Information Center is in Aetos village at the foot of mountain as well as the Wolf Refuge. The Bear refuge is on the mountain just a 15minute walk from Nymfeo. Entrance fee is 5e including both places and the guided tour. Details in “Arktouros” site. Visit it!
The name comes from the greek word “arktos” that means “bear”. The constellation with the same name was the guardian of bears according to Greek Mythology. It is one of the most brilliant stars of the North Hemisphere. Read the whole story : http://www.arcturos.gr/en/arcturos.asp
Warning: It is closed on Wednesdays!
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