Hikers and nature lovers who traverse the forests and mountains after stopping at campgrounds are often happy to see a deer or hare running at close range. In most cases, interactions between humans and animals are limited to fleeting glances or close observation. Forest dwellers are rarely seen up close. Wild animals often exhibit unnaturally heightened senses and are skittish. This means that a wild boar, wolf or deer will become aware of your presence before you even know they are around by hearing, smelling and smelling. The following features apply to all wildlife:
- live in the wild.
- are not domesticated and tame
- do not have owners
While staying at campgrounds and hiking in the forests of Poland, remember that various animals live here, including. Boars, deer, wolves, bison and bears. Neighboring populated areas are periodically invaded by several smaller wild animals. The villages and towns are often inhabited by martens, beavers and hares. In pursuit of food, some animals – such as foxes – are also increasingly making their way into major cities.
The Tumian campground has developed an A-B-C for dealing with wild animals.
Above all, stay calm if you encounter a wild animal while walking or trekking out of a campsite. Consider both the animal’s well-being and your personal safety as you go. Remember that animals are what call the forest home, and it is your duty to treat them with care. A place that serves as a primary habitat for animals and plants, while also serving as a place of rest and recuperation for you. Pay attention to the many signs and information boards and listen to their recommendations. In addition, try to always remember the basics of conservation. Some of the most key ones are:
- Avoid leaving trash behind. Take all the garbage you find with you, if there are no garbage cans along the route then you will dispose of it in a marked place in the campground.
- Avoid deviating from approved paths when driving and hiking.
- Never give wild animals food.
- Do not let dogs walk freely without a leash.
Taking your trash with you is important for many reasons, not just for appearance. The damage caused by plastic bags, yogurt containers or empty packaging left in the forest may be greater than it seems. On more than one occasion, foresters have found deer or fallow deer antlers entangled in the mulch. Also in need of rescue were foxes whose mouths were trapped in a can or other object discarded by visitors. Animals that ingest fragments of plastic or glass often suffer gastrointestinal trauma, which in most cases ends in death. Up to 2 million animals per year die as a result of trash left in the forest.
Staying on designated paths and hiking trails is as important as picking up trash. When you leave the trail, you are unjustifiably stepping onto land that wild animals need for food, to breed. Most of them do not see humans as a potential threat because they are used to seeing them on the trails. What’s different is the off-track route we should take. In such a situation, a startled animal may react aggressively and even violently. Sticking to hiking trails will not only protect local flora and fauna, but also ensure your safety. For the same reasons, avoid staying near the edge of the forest for long periods of time. For many species, the tree border fills an important ecological niche.
Feeding wild animals is prohibited for the obvious reason that they quickly adapt to human behavior. Animals that have been fed twice may aggressively expect the same treatment from the next hiker. Tumiany campground reminds you never to feed animals and refrain from contributing to the process!
Keeping your dog on a leash is advisable for two reasons. First, it will stop your pet from chasing and scaring wild creatures. Second, it happens that small dogs become prey for birds of prey.
Under no circumstances should you handle the young of a wild animal or even consider bringing them home. In order to go foraging in the meantime, mothers of animals such as deer and hares sometimes deliberately abandon their young in the thick grass. Every week, young hedgehogs, squirrels, foxes, roe deer, hares, badgers and a huge number of chicks that have been carelessly plucked from the forest are brought to centers such as the Animal Welfare Service. Many toddlers cannot be saved.
What to do if a wild boar appears in a campsite?
The wild boar can initially appear quite menacing due to its large size and pointed tusks, which are considered its “weapons.” In reality, however, they are peaceful creatures that stay away from interaction with humans. Males (boars) live alone, while sows (females) live in groups of 8 to 30 with their piglets (offspring). The chances of encountering a wild boar at a campsite are slim. In the forest, stick to designated paths and trails. Due to hunting, most animals now live at night, although wild boars prefer to hunt during the day. They are most often seen in groves and thickets during dawn, night and sunrise. Consider the following three potentially dangerous scenarios when encountering a wild boar.
Wild boar encounters: three potentially dangerous scenarios
- Piglets with mother sow
Do not underestimate the warning signs of the sow – gasping or the so-called “sow’s” warning signs. fuking, which is the loud expulsion of air by agitated animals. If possible, climb a tree or a hunting platform and there quietly wait for the sow to leave. Avoid trying to scare away the boar by brandishing a stick or branch or making other threatening movements. The sow, when she feels threatened, throws herself at her opponent, which can be a danger to humans. Although most piglets are born in spring, such encounters can occur at any time of the year. However, some sows give birth twice a year due to mild winters and the abundance of corn crops.
- Injured deer
Be quick to act if by chance you see a wounded deer. An animal that has been shot by a hunter or hit by a car may behave violently. Once you have moved a safe distance away, make sure to call 112 or the police. A male weighing more than 100 kilograms can constantly attack and inflict damage as a reflexive act of defense. Walkers and hikers will not feel comfortable again until the police or the local hunting association remove the injured boar from the route.
- Surprised animals
Wild boars can react violently and unpredictably when they are not prepared for human contact, such as when it is late at night, far from trails and paths, and they are alone in the forest. Animals and humans who are startled often act instinctively and try to flee or fight the intruder. Staying on established paths is the best way to avoid potentially dangerous encounters with wild boars.
Unfortunately, the feral pig population is gradually being infected with the ASF (African swine fever) virus, which is spreading among the species. As a result, finding a sick or dead animal in the bush is no longer unusual. The likelihood of encountering an injured animal along the route has increased significantly since a sanitary wild boar hunting order was introduced in the first months of 2019. The website of the Chief Veterinary Inspectorate has extensive instructions on what to do if a dead boar is discovered. Some of the most key ones are:
- Send a quick notification to the district veterinarian. Use a specific search engine to quickly get a phone number.
- If at all possible, avoid approaching the animal’s carcass and refrain from touching it.
- To make it easier for the relevant agencies to locate a fallen boar, mark the place where you discovered it.
- When you get home, carefully wash your clothes, yourself and shoes.
- Avoid visiting farms and other places where pigs are raised for the next 72 hours. Limit your contacts with other animals that may carry the virus.
With the exception of wild boars and breeding pigs, the ASF virus poses no threat to humans or other animal species. Most of its outbreaks at the moment are in eastern and northeastern Poland.
Wolves in Poland – a vademecum of the Tumiany campsite
The campground is a unique recreation. When going for a walk in the forest, it is worth knowing. Despite Poland’s rapidly growing wolf population, the chance of encountering one while hiking or jogging is extremely low. Tales of the cunning and menacing wolf can be put between fairy tales, according to monitoring and observation of these predators. These creatures are naturally wary and try to stay away from humans whenever possible.
Roughly 2,000 individuals currently live on Polish soil, according to the Association for Nature “Wolf.” The vast forest areas east of the Vistula River are home to most of the wadis. Many wolf families have also returned to their former habitats in western Poland as a result of the species being placed under protection in 1998. The largest populations are found in Mazury, Roztocze, Bialowieza Forest and the Carpathian Mountains. The lowland forests of Western Poland, such as the Drawsko Forest, Notecka Forest and Tuchola Forest, are also increasingly becoming home to wolves. In fact, lone individuals can be found in almost any forest region, as adult wolves often travel long distances in search of a mate from another pack to maintain the genetic health of the population.
A wolf family usually consists of four to six members. Parents and their children from this year’s and last year’s litters often form a pack. Although the term “lone wolves” is also acceptable, they are really relatively rare. The number of predators has multiplied since their protection. However, no human incidents were reported during the same period. Predators often ignore humans and stay away from them. However, if an encounter with a wolf does occur, keep the following advice in mind.
- Keep a cool head. Wait for the wolf to leave, then carefully retreat.
- If a wolf starts to approach you, stand up straight and spread your arms to show that you are tall.
- Clap your hands or shout loudly. This will help to deter the animal.
- Just in case, take a stick or branch with which to defend yourself if necessary. Throw a trinket in the direction of the wolf this can also help.
Inform the relevant services about the whole situation as soon as you are in a safe place. Notify the police, local forest service or veterinary service if you see an animal behaving in an unusual manner (e.g., not scaring or running away). Be sure to contact the experts at the Wolf for Nature Association if you come across a sick, injured or dead wolf.
A dog owner who takes his dog for a walk in a forest inhabited by wolves must undeniably keep the animal on a leash. Wolves often view dogs as competitors who try to take away their prey or food. Therefore, predators will sometimes try to scare away or even attack your pet. Due to the wolves’ fear of and avoidance of humans, it is safe for the dog to remain near its owner or in the campground under proper care.
What should I do if I see an injured animal in the forest?
Do you think an injured animal is present in the forest? Observe them for a long time from a safe distance before taking any action. Only sick and injured animals need help. Sometimes the young animals wait in a remote place for their mother, who is out hunting or gathering food and who may return at any time. Never try to touch a wild animal. Dangerous infections are spread by several of them. Although there are fewer cases of rabies in Poland, foxes, martens and raccoons are among the animals that can still transmit the disease. In addition, with any contact with a wild animal, there is the possibility of contracting dangerous diseases. Under no circumstances should you attempt to touch an injured animal you come across in the wild. Wild animals are often carriers of diseases and parasites.If you suspect that an animal is injured or sick, immediately contact the District Veterinary Inspectorate, the Police or any animal protection organization. These authorities are obliged to provide assistance to injured animals or inform local organizations dealing with similar cases. The same procedure applies to a person who has hit a deer or wild boar on the road. If the injured animal belongs to a game species, you can also contact your local hunting club. It is also worth checking the General Directorate of Environmental Protection website for a list of wildlife rehabilitation facilities.Interactions with wild animals are quite rare.
You can get the necessary break from the rush of city life and daily chores in the forest peace and tranquility by coming to the campground. You won’t disturb its inhabitants if you follow a few simple tips. By following the advice of the Tumiany campground, you will significantly reduce the likelihood of close contact with a suffering or injured animal. However, if you come into contact with a wild boar, wolf or bear, stay calm and follow our tips. Always remember to behave in a way that shows respect for nature and the creatures living there.