Saturday, 25 September 2021

Osijek Celebrates International Drava River Day with Rich Program

September 25, 2021 - Osijek celebrated International Drava River Day on Friday, with many events that both entertained and educated locals on the importance of the Drava ecosystem.

The city of Osijek, Public Institution for Environmental Protection of Osijek-Baranja County, Osijek Tourist Board, Osijek-Baranja Tourist Board, Osijek-Baranja County's Development Agency are few of the ten organizers of Osijek's International Drava River Day commemoration program that was held on Friday.

International Drava River Day is marked on September 24, and as TCN wrote earlier this week, it was also celebrated in the city of Varaždin. The most diverse fish in Croatia live in the Drava river, and last week, UNESCO declared Mura-Drava-Danube Transboundary Biosphere Reserve.

Perhaps that is the reason why, as Akademija Art informs, this year's program in Osijek (the biggest city in the eastern Croatian region of Slavonia) is on a much higher level than usual.

From cruising on the left side of the Drava river, watching 5,000 rowing regattas to professional lectures on the Drava river by Dr. Mirna Habuda Stanić, citizens of Osijek had loads of interesting Drava-related things to see and do on Friday. Additionally, making carp fish on a stick (the specialty of the Slavonian cuisine) demonstration and the traditional Fiš Paprikaš (fish stew) topped off the event.

The celebration also opened a new chance for photographers in the area, as the Public Institution for Environmental Protection of Osijek-Baranja County holds a contest for their upcoming calendar. This is a good direction, as the commemoration program aims to promote the richness of cultural heritage and tradition in cooperation with the local population.

„It's important to mark all-natural values of our county for which we must take care of, as well as educating citizens on environmental protection, starting from the smallest ones,“ said Osijek-Baranja county deputy chief Josip Miletić, as quoted by Akademija Art.

The busy program also made time for the presentation of the Amazon of Europe Project with the idea of preserving the aforementioned biodiversity of the UNESCO-protected Mura-Drava-Danube Transboundary Biosphere Reserve.

„Despite numerous man-made changes in the past, this stunning river landscape hosts an amazing biological diversity and is a hotspot of rare natural habitats such as large floodplain forests, river islands, gravel and sandbanks, side branches, and oxbows", says the Amazon of Europe website.

Learn more about Osijek in our TC guide.

For more about biodiversity in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Saturday, 17 July 2021

Injured Turtle in Korčula Bay: Rescued, Treated, Ready For New Life

July 17, 2021 -  An injured turtle in Korčula Bay sparked immediate action by locals and vets, seeing the turtle being saved and getting a second chance.

Like many other places, towns, locations, and neighborhoods, Korčula also has groups on social media to ease communication among users who share the same place of daily life. Friday afternoon saw residents of Korčula have a big heart, and despite might being stereotypically perceived as laid back, chilled chaps (as for every Mediterranian-culture impacted people), they were quick to act when needed.

A user under the name Antoni Ja, one of the members of the FB group Oglasnik otoka Korčule (Korčula Island Message Board), reported on a 20 kilo turtle floating in the sea in Žrnovska Banja. Floating, the keyword.

„Please do something, so it doesn't get hit by a speedboat or some maniac“, said Antoni Ja.

Other users immediately started to worry if the turtle was injured, and the name of a local vet Vilović was suggested as an address to report the issue.

Sure enough, Vilović examined the turtle, and the 20-kilo turtle turned out to be over 50 kilos. Not quite often seen in shallow waters, but nevertheless a normal turtle size in the Adriatic sea.

„It had a head wound, most likely from the propeller. It is on its way to the Specialist in Split by catamaran“, briefly commented Vilović.

Indeed, as the photo on the FB group published by Ana Jurić shows, the turtle was on its way to Split.

„Kudos to the vet and the guys that organized all this, and the turtle is huge!“ wrote Jurić.

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Zrnovska Banja where the turtle was spotted floating © Visit Korcula

Dr. Mario Gavranović, head of the VET VISION clinic in Split, confirmed that the turtle arrived on Friday night.  „It should arrive in an hour or two. The propeller injury is an old wound and I will first have to examine it to see what is the proper way of treatment“, said Dr. Gavranović.

When contacted on Saturday morning to provide more information on what happened to the turtle, dr. Gavranović wasn't in his office. As confirmed by Aquarium Pula, the reason was Gavranović took the turtle to the aquarium which also has a Marine turtles rescue centre.

"The turtle is alright, on its way and should be in the Centre around midday", briefly confirmed Aquairum Pula.

Pula's rescue centre has been active for around 17 years (with turtles being strictly protected in Croatia since 1995 as one of the most endangered animal species), and Morski.hr wrote in 2019 how the centre cured over 100 turtles. 

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One of the many rescued turtles by Marine turtles rescue centre © Aquarium Pula

Croatia loves its animals

With vets displaying their expertise, locals on Korčula once again demonstrated their compassion and big heart when it comes to animals. And that compassion is not different from the general mood in Croatia.

With the nourishing of the recently deceased stork Malena being the most famous story of love between Croatians and animals, there were plenty of other examples too. From rejoicing every time whales or dolphins are spotted, when sheep visited the Zadar mall or when a Croatian reality TV star Jasmin Kunišinac raised a fox.

Unfortunately, Croatia also records cases of animal cruelty, such as the poisoning of cats and dogs, and each time Croatian public met it with a fierce backlash and anger for such acts.

Despite quite often arguing about everything imaginable and unimaginable, Croatians also express solidarity with each other when things get tough. For instance, many cities canceled their new year celebrations and relocated the money to Petrinja following its earthquake, as well as Croatian entrepreneurs too. But, many more instances of help were noted over the years.

Learn more about Korčula on our TC page.

For more about animals in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Monday, 22 April 2019

Protect Our Species: Croatia Celebrates Earth Day 2019

Croatia celebrates Earth Day on April 22, 2019. 

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