This is a video of a Brown Bear in Vitosha mountains. Vitosha is situated next to the capital Sofia, a city with about 2 million inhabitants, and is a very popular place for citizens to get some fresh air, walk around and practice their favourite sports. Easily accessible and criss-crossed by a number of tourist trails, with opportunities for different outdoor activities like hiking, climbing, mountain biking and skiing, this mountain is an important part of the landscape and everyday life of the capital. The highest point is called Cherni vrah (2290 m). The oldest nature park on the Balkans was created here in 1934, with two reserves on its territory.
Despite the urbanisation, there is still wildlife inhabiting this mountain area. Brown bears are the most impressive mammals that live in Bulgaria. They are protected species and about 800 of them are considered to live here, mainly in Rhodope, Rila and Stara planina mountains.The ones seen in Vitosha are migrating bears, coming from Rila Mountains, which are situated south of Vitosha – the territories in between are quite uninhabited and there is no asphalt road crossing them – all these factors allow the bears to have their long walks from place to place. Currently about 10 bears live in Vitosha, according to Toma Belev, head of Vitosha Nature Park.
Actually, Bulgarian bears are quite shy and avoid people, so it’s not a common thing to meet them in the wild. And, as it is seen in this video, their main food is vegetarian. However, this does not exclude the possibility of unexpected meetings in the forest. An accident in Rhodope Mountains in 2010 raised a discussion about the line between nature protection and people’s safety.
Author: Lyuben Grancharov
“The World is a book and those who do not travel read only a page” (Augustine of Hippo). I enjoy filling up the page, called “Bulgaria”, both working as a guide and writing about the mountains of Bulgaria on this blog.