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HOWL OF THE WILD: Bear carcass in the middle of Zagreb for the salvation of nature

WWF published three audio monodramas to warn against terrible wildlife crimes

ZAGREB - With a performance in the middle of Zagreb, Croatia, WWF warned about a serious problem that wildlife crimes pose. Poaching, poisoning, smuggling, and illegal wildlife trade are all crimes that are often connected only to faraway countries. However, they happen among us too, often unnoticed and without punishment. 

Crimes against nature and the environment are the fourth most lucrative activity of organized crime in the world, after human, drug, and weapon trafficking. They cause severe damage to our planet and push many protected and endangered species to the brink of extinction. Despite this, public awareness of the seriousness of this problem is extremely low, and too few cases are prosecuted and sentenced.

“The unusual scene of the chalk outline of a bear carcass, with warning tape around it that says ‘Stop wildlife crimes!’ in the middle of the Flower Square in Zagreb drew the attention of many citizens unaccustomed to such sights. We used the bear as a symbol of all species that are victims of wildlife crime. Alongside bears, there are, for example, the golden eagle and the Eurasian griffon vulture, which often end up as victims of poisoning”, says Ivona Stanić from WWF Adria. “Another problem is illegal wildlife trade, which often targets songbirds like the European goldfinch or marine species like sea cucumbers or date mussels.

This performance is the beginning of a WWF campaign whose goal is to highlight the importance of ending these types of crimes. In cooperation with famous Croatian actors and musicians, WWF recorded three monodramas that show, in an emotional way, the consequences that poaching, poisoning, smuggling, and illegal trade can have on a single animal.

“The unusual tales about a little bear cub, a golden eagle, and a sea cucumber, played by Darko Rundek, Jelena Miholjević, and Baby Dooksa, respectively, serve to bring the catastrophic effect humans can have on the natural world closer to the listener. Give them a listen and help us raise awareness about this huge problem”, says Stanić

The brown bear is often a target of poaching in Croatia because of conflicts with the local communities and trophy hunting. Through these illegal and uncontrolled killings, we aren't just harming a single bear, but an entire forest ecosystem, because we're disrupting the natural balance between so many other plant and animal species. 

WWF Adria is conducting this campaign through the LIFE SWiPE project (“Successful wildlife crime prosecution in Europe”). The project aims to discourage, and ultimately reduce the number of wildlife crimes. It has been ongoing for three years and has gathered numerous experts in wildlife crime prevention, detection, and prosecution: from police, rangers, and inspectors, to prosecutors and judges. Through various activities, workshops, increasing cooperation between relevant institutions, and publishing national reports, the goal is to increase the number of investigated, reported, and prosecuted wildlife crimes.

All the audio monodramas can be found here.

*National co-financing of the project is provided by the Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund and the Government of the Republic of Croatia, Office for Cooperation with NGOs.
**The views expressed in this text are the sole responsibility of WWF Adria and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Government of the Republic of Croatia - Office for Cooperation with NGOs, or other co-financiers.

© Miroslav Mrva
WWF wildlife crime audio monodramas

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