Republic of Montenegro
Montenegro is a small but very beautiful country which we can find on the northeastern shore of Adriatic Sea. Once it was a part of former Yugoslavia. Montenegro´s landscape is very diverse, it consists of high mountains, virgin forests, deep valleys and rocky seashore with some beautiful sand beaches.
Montenegro is a country full of ancient towns as Cotor, Budva, Cetinje. Above the Bay of Kotor (famous Boka Kotorska) an abrupt massif of the Lovcen Mountains rises directly from the Adriatic Sea. On the vast mountain pastures herds of sheep, cows, goats and horses graze from spring to fall. Montenegrins live mainly on pastoralism. During summer season many of them sojourn in small wooden sheds called katun. They very often offer some milk and cheese to hikers.
Many Montenegrins also work in tourist service. On the romantic Adria seashore we can find many nice tourist resorts which are heavily visited by vacationists from all over the world. There is almost no industry in the Republic of Montenegro, therefore the Parliament, in 1991, proclaimed Montenegro as the first ecological state in the world.
The Montenegrin mountains are home for large carnivores as wolves, bears, lynxes and wild cats. In Montenegro, there is no monitoring of the wolf, and no reliable information. Generally it’s believed that about 200-300 wolves roam Montenegro´s landscape. Wolf is not a protected animal in Montenegro. In some regions of Montenegro has been paid a reward 15 Euro for killing a wolf. Annual harvest is about 25 % of a total wolf population. Hunting is a field where there is no clear picture on whether the natural resources of hunting wild animals are utilized in a sustainable manner or not. The existing scope of the wolf hunt cannot be considered sustainable. Hunting organizations provide to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management data that are not independently verified, and there is a phenomenon that many catches are not reported. Generally, hunting in Montenegro is not well organized and gives rise to concern for the threat of hunting (and other) species that occur during the hunt.
Slavs and wolves
Old Slavs featured their major god Dazbog as a Lame Wolf. Wolves had a strong symbolical meaning amongst the Slavs which was preserved throughout history and then carried on into the Christian era. The wolf has always played an important role in Serbian folklore, customs and tradition. A great number of male and female personal names are derived from the word Vuk (Serbian for Wolf) - Vuk, Vukašin, Vukelič, Vukovič, Vujadin, Vuka and Vukosava. It used to be believed that wolves scare away evil spirits and ghosts and protect children from illness and because of this parents gave their children names which derived from the word. Also many settlements and other places in Serbia and Montenegro are named after wolf (Vučje, Vučkovica, Vučica).
Source of information: Milan Ružić
Photos: Pavel Reich