A few months ago, I received a link to the following editorial by Rajat Ghai in the Indian Business Standard: “Lessons from Wild Europe.” The objective of Ghai’s article is to encourage Indian conservation efforts, but I was pleasantly surprised to learn about the reintroduction of extirpated species in various parts of Europe. Ghai begins his article with a detail that warms my heart:
On May 17, 2014, seventeen big, bellowing cattle-like beasts were released into the forests of the Tarcu mountains in the southern part of eastern Europe’s famous Carpathian range in Romania after being ritually blessed by an Orthodox Christian priest in the village of Armenis. The release was carried out by volunteers of the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) and an NGO called ‘Rewilding Europe.’
The event is significant in the conservation history of the European continent as it marks the return of Europe’s largest herbivore, the European Wood Bison or the Wisent (Bison bonasus), in the Tarcu mountains 200 years after they disappeared from there due to rampant poaching.
Good news in several ways!