"When you go to the woods, beware of the bears! It’s very often people, who are about to visit the unfrequented and hard-to-get to parts of our country, to hear these words. Could such an encounter become a reality and what is the life of the strongest animal, living in our mountains, like? A beast or a gentle soul is hidden behind that hairy bear coat. To understand more about the mountain token, we will follow the bears trail along the wild areas of Bulgaria

The earliest bear findings in the Bulgarian lands are in the underground galleries of  Rhodope, Stara Planina and Vitosha Mountains. There, the speleologists discover skeleton remains of the predecessor of the present-day bears, which has extinct about 14 thousand years ago. It’s suggested that the ancient cave bear was twice the size of its present brothers and sisters, but could not survive the last glaciations of the continent..."

This movie is about the life of the brown bears and their co-existence with the people in the West Rhodope Region. Cameramen of the movie are Raycho Ganchev, Hristo Hristov and Vladimir Adev.

Screenplay, production and postproduction - Hristo Hristov.

In the movie participated the teams of Alpine Club Edelweiss, Speleology club “Silivryak”, Wild Nature Society Balkans, Four Paws Foundation, PDM Services.  

The movie was made on the request of Speleology club “Silivryak” and is part of the activities of a project for preservation of the bears in West Rhodope region, financed by PHARE Programme, in 2006- 2007. Manager and coordinator of the project are Shengyul Akimanova and Teodor Todorov - PDM Services.

Pictures from the first line:

“The Alpinist” – a moment of the bears life in the preserved park Belitsa.

“The Trophy”- a bear, shot down by hunters in Shiroka Laka. She was blamed for attacking the livestock in the area…

“The Lord of the Forest” – the bear is specie, protected by the law. Her chasing, killing or cub taking is punishable by the law. An exception is made when there is prove that some individual is dangerous – meat-eating bears.

Pictures from the second line:

“The Scout” – one of the best experts on bears in Bulgaria – Raycho Ganchev is showing a bear mark sign near by the bears lair.

“The Skull” – remains of a cave-bear, found in one of the Rhodope caves.

“The cub” – the bear gives birth to two or three babies at the end of February.  The female bare is training her cubs up to two years and after that abandons them...   When they are born, the baby bears weight only about 400 grams.

Pictures from the third line:

“The Trap” – three years old bear, caught in a poacher’s trap for wild hogs in Rila Mountain.  She is been rescued by Four Paws Foundation’s Team and after treating her wounded by the trap leg, the bear is released on the wild again. 

“The Rhodopi”- in 2007, in the West Rhodopi region begins a project for preserving the bears in the bordering area between Bulgaria and Greece.  This is the place where are located some of the vast natural habitats of this specie in whole Europe.

Since 2008 in Trigrad is open an information center, dedicated on the bear.

“The planting” – one of the activities in the environmental project for the bears is the planting of wild fruit sorts in non populated regions.  The goal is to preserve the natural feeding areas of the bears and their migration away from the bee-gardens and the livestock of the local residents.

It’s important to know:

Every bear eats meat, but it doesn’t mean that she is THE dangerous meat-eating bear.

Livestock left unattended out at grass are potential target for wolves or bear attacks in the areas, where these animals live. In cases of unattended herds, people should not blame only “the predators” for the damages.

Any damages on livestock or property, proven to be caused by a bear, are being covered by the Government. In such cases contact the local authorities.



film episode for the bear