The bears are deeply connected with Slovenian history and culture, and a lot of places have the names that originate in the word “bear” (medved). Medved, for example, is a common Slovenian last name. Here I would like to present you some ideas and activities how to spice up your vacations in Slovenia, and get to know our culture a bit better, as well as famous bears.
Talking about famous bears, one of them is definitely the bear which destiny might not have been so bright since it ended up as a hunting trophy. But, for sure, he got some postmortem fame. In 1973, he became the world champion when his fur was declared the largest fur presented on such kind of world hunting exhibitions. This famous fur is now decorating the hunter’s collection in the Technical Museum of Slovenia (Tehniški muzej Slovenije).
I should emphasize, that since the 19th century the bears in Slovenia have been more and more protected. Nowadays, they are considered protected species, and it is forbidden to hurt or capture them. Upsetting a bear is not a good idea, in general, since a usually shy bear that would retreat even before you notice him might get aggressive, especially if they want to protect its cubs.
In Slovenia, bears are also involved in coursing. "Tristo kosmatih medvedov" literally translates to "300 hairy bears", and means something like holy crap. I must say, nowadays this course is rarely used since we rather use the ones originating in other languages that sound a bit more like a bad word.
Apart from coursing, you can see a bear as a common motif in the folk art such as the painting of the beehive panel. In these paintings, the motifs from nature are quite popular, and the bear is one of them, especially since he loves to eat honey.
If you want to combine a good local food and seeing a bear, you should visit the tourist farm Abram. A friendly bear Mitko was found near the farm more than 20 years ago, when it was still a young bear cub, and the family has been taking care of him ever since. After the traditional meal, you can get to see all the animals they have at the farm, including Mitko, the bear.
Other possibilities of seeing the culture of bears in Slovenia and to see these beasts in person is to stop by at the Ljubljana ZOO where there are 4 brown bears and many other animals waiting for your visitation. Or you might want to consider bear watching. On this interesting trip you go to the forest and observe the bears from a safe distance, accompanied with people who know these animals well and can make the experience safe and interesting at the same time.
I’m Darja, from Slovenia, always excited to meet new people, try out new things, especially sports and baking sweets... as well as share with you about my country.