Wild Life in Banja Luka

Wild Life in Banja Luka

What would you do if suddenly wild life decided to “drop in” to your suburb or village?

Growing up in a city like London, I never did experience too much “real” nature. Yes, I have tons of memories of the parks and the so called “wild life” that lived there. My mum used to take me to feed the ducks and to see, (what must be terrifying for young children), swans. There were also visits to the Zoo (although seeing animals in cages and enclosures was both interesting and distressing at the same time).

Whenever I get the time during my ever infrequent trips back to the UK, I still enjoy going to St James’ park in particular, and watching people feed the squirrels, seeing the Pelicans and trying to identify the amazing variety of birds that just seem to “hang around”.

Urban Fox

Urban Fox in London

Some years ago, one of my daughters lived in West Dulwich (in South London) for a while, and
both Tamara and I were amazed to see so many “urban foxes” during nighttime walks back from the pub.


My point?

Let me explain.

The western Balkans (read in this case Bosnia and Herzegovina) has always had a vibrant hunting culture due to the abundance of deer, wild boar and even bears. That community respected seasonal activities and only hunted in order to police wildlife populations (OK, they call it sport).

The wildlife population however, sort of changed during the 1990’s due to the conflicts in the region. Bears, for example and in particular, migrated away and it’s only really recently that they have appeared again in their previous habitats.

Today’s hunting communities know that there has to be a moretoureum as far as some species are concerned, until populations regain their old numbers.


Bring into the mix that recent climate change is confusing us all, and that animals are finding it weird (and most probably hard ) to know when to begin their winter hibernation, there’s a recipe for problems staring everyone in the face.

Hence this previous week a Bosnian bear strayed into a suburb of Banja Luka, most probably looking for food.

Bears by the way are a protected species in the Balkans.

His (I assume it’s a he) appearance caused some panic. He was summarily shot. I mean a bear near a car dealership?

Officially the reason for his destruction was for public safety and that the police or veternary services don’t have the means of delivering a tranquilliser dart. WTF?

It seems by the way that the bear didn’t behave aggressively to any humans. I can’t verify this.

centar za životnu sredinu, (centre for the environment), Banja Luka

click on the above logo to read the original story

But consider this.

In Canada, Polar Bears, Elk and other large animals often stray into human habituated areas. Polar Bears can also attack humans if hungry so really are dangerous. But in Canada measures are in place to neutralise any animal threat and to return the animal wherever possible to its natural habitat. It’s part of that countries pact with nature.

Surely there is still some connection between the people of BIH and their natural environment to ensure, maybe, a more humane and eco friendly solution to any future instances like this.

Maybe the dysfunctionality that sadly is Bosnia and Herzegovina, simply just can’t cope with this type of issue?

Final (emotional) thought.

I can’t help but feel that any violent terrorist attack in Banja Luka would have elicited a more humane and tolerant response.

Wild Life in Banja Luka
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1 Comment

  1. David, couldn’t agree more dear chap…. what a waste….! The destruction of this animal SHOULD have been the LAST resort not the FIRST….! This year there have been a number of similar encounters with bears in and around Banja Luka… Two that i can think of are one at the Main Graveyard in Town and one in the Vrbanja/Celinac area… both resulted in the bear being “Moved on” back to where he/she should be. May be the Car dealership and all the Audi’s? BMW? Merc’s that they sell was in need of greater protection than the People….!

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