Talking about the brown bear… (Day 525)

Slovakia Brown Bear in Conservation

Today’s Diary Entry is sponsored by Spikes World Wildlife Foods

So today started with a pathophysiology lecture on myopathies which are diseases and disorders of the muscles. Now when thinking about muscles the last thing that pops into most people’s brain is the heart, the intestines, the esophagus or the other systems which rely on muscle to make them work. Whilst very interesting it’s too bigger a field to try to explain in a single post so I will break it down later.

Now onto my next class today it is back to Falconry and Wildlife Rehabilitation, today we spoke a little about the UNESCO application to protect Falconry, looked at the special anatomy of bird wings and the complications this caused with repairing fractures before we got to the wildlife rehabilitation section of the class.

Today was an amazing (at least for me) topic. Brown bears. Now I am coming to realise that my real passion lies with exotics and wildlife as there is just so much that we do not know. Anyways back to the brown bears, now here in Slovakia we are lucky to have some in the wild, and recently a lot of work is being done in conservation of these animals.

Slovakia Brown Bear in Conservation

Now like most wild animals bears have a bad name as being scary and dangerous, personally my opinion is that we the humans are the scary ones that are gradually taking over all the space in the world in our greed. Anyways, in Slovakia there is a not a direct motorway between the two big cities Kosice in the west and Bratislava in the east as between here is bear country. So the zoologists are currently doing research into the paths that animals use for migration, and part of this involves monitoring the bears movements by satellite using gps transmitters.

Sounds simple right? Well first off all you have to capture the bears… Sneaking up on a bear is pretty dangerous, using snare traps is dangerous for random hikers/hunters that come across a caught (and very angry) bear, and so it was decided to use massive iron box traps. Once in the traps the bears are anesthetized with material collected for DNA analysis of the population and fitting of radio tracking collars. Now these collars are pretty special because as well as having GPS devices they have a autodropoff mechanism to break and fall off in 2 years (or on demand).

Lastly today we had our general surgery practical where we were basically shown round the surgical building, told it looks like crap but they are building a new one to open after we leave. And then two people in the group were shown how to gown up for surgery.