This week a hiker came across a brown bear in the hills above Dubrovnik. Whilst we don’t envy his terrifying encounter, it’s fascinating to learn that these fierce giants still roam the wild. As the name suggests, they have long, brown fur. Large males can weigh up to 480kg and measure up to 2.5m. They have 42 teeth, massive paws, and claws up to 10cm in length. If you’re interested in seeing these giants in their natural habitat, they can be found in Risnjak National Park. A less daredevil approach is to visit Kutervero Bear Sanctuary, where orphaned bears are given a second chance in a safe and caring environment. The centre attracts 20,000 a year and relies heavily on donations.
We were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the famous Mediterranean bottle-nose dolphins whilst on a Croatia cruise in September of this year. They caused great excitement and the whole ship scurried up to the sun deck to get the best view. These are the only marine mammals still living in the Adriatic Sea.
As with all types of dolphin, these are ever-playful and interactive which shows their high levels of intelligence. In the 1960s these charming animals were perceived as pests which sadly meant that the population was reduced by 50%. Now, with more awareness and appreciation, dolphin conservations are being set up along Croatia’s coast.