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Meeting with the “Karelias” dog unit for the repulsion of bears in the framework of the LIFE Arcprom project

Representatives of Environmental Organizations, institutions and National Parks from Greece and Italy had the opportunity to meet Athena and Adele, the two Karelian Bear Dogs (KBD), as well as their handlers from the Karelia dog unit created by OFYPEKA in the framework of the LIFE Arcprom project. The demonstration took place on Thursday 14 March 2024 in the area of Kalabaka, as part of a three-day visit to the region by the partners of the LIFE Bear-Smart Corridors project.

Karelia dogs are a breed that has been developed and used by hunters and farmers for centuries (mainly in Scandinavia and Russia). Its quick reflexes and fearless nature have made it very popular for pursuing aggressive game such as bear.

This is the first time in our country that an innovative, well tested (both in Europe and USA) & effective method for minimizing the incidents of bear-human interaction is introduced, used and demonstrated. After proper training, the dogs are directed by their handler towards troublesome bears exhibiting “familiarization” behavior at a designated point to chase and repel the bear.

See photos from the unit presentation: