“The struggles between wolves and deer, what a thrill for nature” – Chronicle

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Pescasseroli (L’Aquila), 27 May 2020 – From north to south, another close encounter with the‘bear. A family this time. Mother with 4 puppies photographed in the Abruzzo park in Pescasseroli. “An exceptional event,” said the director Luciano Sammarone. The shots are signed by Mario and Romano Visci, park guard for two generations. A vocation. The same as Tommaso Folchetti, 60 years old, who has left his post as a music teacher to get here. And after 27 years it takes the same passion. At the end of the morning he has already walked eight hours on the paths, a reconnaissance to fix the signs. The Pnalm – Abruzzo Lazio and Molise national park, 54 thousand hectares of protected area, surrounded by another 60 thousand hectares of buffer zone – prepares for hikers. It will be the year of holidays in Italy (for those who can) and the rediscovery of slower rhythms, it is the bet. A unique heritage in the world, to be enjoyed.

Tommaso, you changed your life to stay here.
“I had this passion for the mountains and nature. I said enough with school and I started asking questions to become a park ranger. “
Exceptional bear sightings: what’s going on after the lockdown?
“Surely the animals have taken more courage. But throughout the year we have the opportunity to spot and follow unique species in the world, which only live here, the Marsican bear and the Apennine chamois. Then deer, roe deer … There has certainly been a few more occasions in recent weeks. But the difference was seen above all on the roads, even neighboring ones, there it was huge. Less animals invested, less noise and disturbances ”.
The bear is the discovery of this spring, the sightings are multiplying throughout Italy, from Trentino to Abruzzo.
“We have about sixty of them, they can reach 70. They are somewhat smaller animals than those of the Carpathians, Finland and Russia. It is the southernmost population of Western Europe. The puppies remain in hibernation with their mother until April-May, they begin to move now “.



Tommaso Folchetti, park guard
Who are the enemies of the park?
He sighs: “We deal with nature and conservation. We can consider enemies who try to speculate. So I also put the lack of awareness, which despite everything still resists, to understand the need to protect natural environments unique in the world. Our park is a model of conservation in Italy and in Europe “.
You are also agents of pg.
“We do supervision and controls, this is our main task. We also collaborate a lot with scientific research. Especially for our two extraordinary species. I happened to make fines but also to start criminal proceedings. Unauthorized forest cuts, problems with hunting … But in recent years the real issue is the disturbance, the human presence that alters the balance of the most endangered species, such as the bear. I think of the cars that run along the streets of the park, now there is a project to stem this problem. In the past bears and wolves have been invested. ”



What was the most exciting meeting?
“I have seen mothers bears with the young, herds of wolves that prey on deer, chamois who managed to escape by jumping on the most impervious rocks, have like suckers under their hooves, even a few days of life. They are incredible sensations, you see just how nature moves. Exciting”.



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