Sunday, 9 September 2012

The Swiss Zoo

Bear Pit, Bern

Don't worry, this is not a photo taken in my back garden but a few years ago in the bear park in the city of Bern, right in the middle. Since then the bears have spread out to a new revere along the banks of the River Aar, also in Bern. The town emblem of Bern is a bear and hence the local animal population. They do quite well, have enough to eat and drink, can even go for a swim and multiply once a year when the baby bears in Spring are shown to the local population. Someone did get too close once to their park and fell in, the bears were delighted to have a variation of their diet, but he was rescued. Anyhow these bears are in captivity and you don't meet them on the streets.

On the other hand, in the Balkan states, they do tend to take a walk now and again, commonly known as wild bears and they might stray over the Swiss border, the first one being sighted in 2005, taking a holiday from his home in Italy. Unfortunately he was shot, there was an outcry in the Swiss population "poor little bear" etc. and now the authorities are more careful with their bullets.  Before the bear arrived a few wolves did visit us, they were not welcome, living on the farmer's grazing sheep.

Anyhow this is all very well and interesting. Our local animals are cats, dogs, ascending to fox and cows - no big deal.

Now we have a new immigrant known as Jackal, yes, now who would have thought that. Mr. Swiss drew my attention to an aricle in our local Sunday newspaper this morning. apparently it is a golden jackal, having a goldbrown coat. Actually the first one arrived some time last year and our naturalists were a little overstrained not recognising what it was, but now it is clear. Apparently because of the climate getting warmer, they are straying into colder areas, as they do prefer the sunny side of life.They originate in Africa and Asia, but found their way to Bulgaria, Croatia, Italy and Austria some time ago and have now decided to try Switzerland. So here he is.


Not a photo from me but the newspaper He has not yet been seen in our area (although they did see a panther in the local forest last year, and he has not been seen again).

So life can be interesting in Switzerland. I think this one might leave when Winter arrives.


  1. Fascinating! It is interesting the way animals will wander...

  2. Great and interesting post pat thanks;)

  3. Love your post Pat, with climate changes and man encroaching on their habitat it is becoming more common to see animals where they were not before.

  4. Ah, free circulation of animals within Europe! Very interesting post...

  5. Great animal blog ! The wolves aren't welcome here as well.