Being asked by the EAZWV Newsletter to write an article about my experience with wildlife in Romania:
So, my name is Ovidiu Rosu, I’m in the final year of the Veterinary Faculty in Bucharest, Romania… Yeah Romania , that weird country with the, so called, vampires, gypsies and over the corner beggars . Remember it ?
Actually I can add something else to this “magnificent” portrait of my country. Nature! Whole lot of nature. Forget the gypsies, forget the blood sucking pale-faced dudes and focus on the real beauty of it. We ,kind of , have things that are unique in all Europe. Yeah, we have the Danube Delta and this totally rules. The Carpathians Mountains, our part of the Black See and everything in between are also unique.
And Nature brings with her baggage: animals, dazing wild endangered species. Bears, wolfs, lynxes, dears, otters, pelicans, little or big, flying or crawling… name it! We still got it. I said “still” because if we all don’t do something about trees cutting, poaching , etc. I will have to rewrite this paragraph.
This brings us to my story. I love animals. And if they happen to be wild is even better, I’ll love them more.
I made this non orthodox introduction because at the Leipzig’s conference, me and Ioana (she also has a article) were the only two Romanians, and everybody looked at us as we were something very exotic.
Ok. Enough with the boring stuff. Let’s speak about the possibility to work with wild animals in Romania.
As I told you, I’m into wild animals, and my first encounter, from the vet’s point of view, with those type of patients, actually didn’t happen in Romania; it took place at Arcturos Bear Sanctuary in Greece. All about this sanctuary and the work we’ve done there, you will found from Ioana. This experience happened 3 years ago, and in between, with the help of WSPA, a brand new bear sanctuary was build in the center of Romania. The place name is Zarnesti, 5km from Bran (were, by the way, you’ll find Dracula’s Castle). The Libearty bear sanctuary, by his name, is humongous, it has about 50 ha and is the biggest of its type in Europe. The policy there is to bring as much bears as they can from different inadequate zoos, circuses, illegal private owners and try to offer them a better life. The last time I checked they had 33 bears and still receiving. From the medical point of view, every male bear who comes in, is clinically assessed, castrated, blood sampled , dewormed and tagged. Same thing with the females… without the castration.
As you probably saw it coming, they are looking for volunteers, to help in the clinic, to make ethological studies and especially for pure manual labor. This summer they intend to open the sanctuary to the public, so is going to be a lot of work.
Back to good old me. Last year I’ve been a Erasmus exchange student at Bologna University, Italy. For the next year I’ve received from my Ministry a scholarship to attend the Conservation Medicine Module from the University of Wien.
I’ve done a tone of volunteering in every field that has something to do with animals: stray dogs and cats neutering projects all-around Romania, horse and donkeys clinical assistance in England and Cyprus , bear ethological survey in Greece.
Now I work one day a week at Bucharest Zoo. Here I help the doctor with his daily duty: treatments, handling, hoof trimming, fecal sampling, etc. This Zoo is considered to be one of the best in Romania; even if we didn’t yet reached the grandiosity off others like Leipzig’s, there’s hope for new improvements. Presently the zoo successfully reproduce pelicans and was being thought about the step when they could release pairs into the Delta. (help needed with this project)
Even if my Faculty from Bucharest doesn’t have, yet, a special department for wild animal medicine, and I had to run to all kinds of projects to “touch” this field, my personal opinion is that Romania is going to be the next big thing in wildlife conservation and with this, wildlife medicine. So… don’t hesitate to check us out!!! “