Bears of the Karawank Mountains

1 x 52 min / 1 x 43 min
Worldwide except for Germany and France

The Bears are Back! Once scarcely seen in central Europe, shaggy 300 kg brown bears, are once again padding through Slovenia’s Alpine forests and crossing borders into Austria and Italy. In these limestone ranges within sight of the warm Mediterranean, they hardly ever come into conflict with people – unless they sense the presence of honey! In Slovenia cubs stay with their mother up to three years before striking out alone in search of new territory. Young males wander north as far as the Karawank Alps. Few – unlike the hero of our story – dare to cross the aweinspiring 2,500 metre massif. This film opens our eyes to bears’ enormous power, intelligent curiosity and surprising habits: some bears hibernate with bats that huddle together and even mate in their cave, unfazed by the slumbering giant beneath. Biological research tells us the brown bear is an infallible indicator of intact biospheres: Where this top predator settles, other species thrive: from large mammals like wolves and lynx, to altogether humbler residents like mushrooms, or the Carnic honeybees. And as forests reclaim fields left fallow by the rural exodus, is this a chance for bears too? Featuring the spectacular Karawank peaks with their harsh north faces and gentler southern slopes, this blue chip UNIVERSUM documentary follows a young brown bear on his quest for a territory to call his own. In the process, we discover how Slovenia – the country with by far the largest number of brown bears – is also the one that has least trouble getting along with them!

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