What links together UK and Croatia? Many things indeed but also one young man speaking out about his adventure.
Philip Michael Hall is an Englishman who came to Croatia to volunteer at the Kuterevo Bear Sanctuary located in Velebit mountain. Exploring nature and traditional lifestyle, taking care of animals and learning about sustainability were all part of his everyday life at the Kuterevo. Phil shared his experiences!
“When I decided I wanted to volunteer I did a bit of research and found the European Solidarity Corps, a big trading circuit for volunteers all around Europe. And when I was reading about this particular project, the fact that it was in Croatia was a big part of why I wanted to do it. Because people have always told me how beautiful the scenery is and how stunning the culture and interesting people.”
They take care of many bears, and that is not an easy task.
“We have five older bears, four males, and they get quite same looking once they get to that mature age, so they are quite difficult to distinguish between. We have our oldest female, she is 35 and much smaller and lighter colour.”
The volunteers are not supposed to make a personal connection with animals because they are so friendly that once they leave the bears will feel quite sad. But that`s why they made friends with the local people.
“When we get into contact with locals and we start hanging out with then they are extremely generous around here. They are often giving you rakija, or some beer, or some biscuits.”
Check out how it all looks on the field up on the mountain: