A century ago, through a human’s fault the bison disappeared from the wild. And only thanks to incredible efforts made to save this specie, this European giant is now gradually returning to its original habitat.
Historically, the Northern part of Belarus was a part of the range of European bison. In the Middle Ages, the herds were common in forest landscapes of this region. The archaeological excavations carried out on the sites of old settlements in the North of the country show that the bison was often a hunting prey for the inhabitants of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. And all in all this cooked this hero of animal life goose. By the middle of the XVIth century, it was exterminated across much of its habitat and the last refuge for this specie became Bialowieza forest.
The return of the bison to the forests of the Northern Belarus elongated for long five centuries. Only in 2013 the forest giants appeared in the Northern part of our country within the forestland of Krasny Bor. Initially, in order to get used to new conditions of life, the animals were kept in open-air cages and then they were set free.
The bison caught fancy the forests of Krasny Bor and they quickly felt at ease there.
The hunting estate Krasny Bor invites the guests to take part in ecological tours to observe bison, search for traces of their life-sustaining activity and get acquainted with the typical natural habitats of these animals.
The tour In the footsteps of the forest giant suggests an active movement on foot of the tourists accompanied by a guide within one territory that is key-note for the bison’ inhabitation. The participants of the tour have a unique opportunity to walk along the bison’ paths and get acquainted with the life environment of the largest inhabitants of the forests of Krasny Bor. They will learn many interesting details about the behavior and biology of these animals; they will learn how to search for the animals in the footsteps. The tour program includes a visit of noon intermission areas of bison and acquaintance with the assortment of their dining-table, inspection of trail cameras used by the specialists of Krasny Bor to collect information about their fosterlings. And if you are lucky, so you can meet the potentate of Belarusian forests.
The tour is designed for one light day and can last up to ten hours. It can be held any season of the year, both in winter and in summer. Its participants need not have special physical training, but at the same time they should be sure of their forces and ability to walk up to 10-15 kilometers following the paths through the woods. Clothes should be comfortable, not hindering movements, warm in winter, shoes should be waterproof. It is desirable to have a head-dress and a raincoat if rain occurs. In summer it is advisable to have a repellent to protect against sanguivorous insects.
The tour In Search of an bison is dedicated to those who prefer more comfortable conditions of movement to the places of habitation of the population of Krasny Bor. It is held during the period of the highest daily activity of the animals in the morning or in the evening. At this time, bison come out to feed off in the open spaces, such as – clearings in the woods, meadows, feeding waters, and staying nearby you can keep watch over them.
Participants of the tour, accompanied by a guide, visit several key areas, where the probability of meeting the bison is the highest. As a rule, these are meadows or agricultural fields in the middle of forestlands. The moving between them is performed by the vehicles of the hunting estate Krasny Bor following the network of forest roads. Upon arrival to one area, our tourists make small excursions of up to one and a half kilometers, during which they get acquainted with the traces of animal life, and in case of discovering of bison, they take a sight on and photograph them. During the tour, lasting up to five or six hours, the participants have the opportunity to visit up to four key areas. For each area there is a high commitment of confidence to meet single males or a hardening of females with rearers.
In winter, the tour In Search of an bison is held in the feeding place of the population of Krasny Bor, close to which the herds are kept, consisting of several dozens of animal units.
During the tours you can see other species of hoofed animals such as elks, deer, fallow deer.