25 years after Iron Curtain fell, deer stay on respective sides

Feb. 24, 2014 at 12:19 AM
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SUMAVA NATIONAL PARK, Czech Republic, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- A quarter of a century after the fall of the Iron Curtain and the German/Czech Republic fence removed, the deer are staying on their side of the former border.

Pavel Sustr said the Sumava National Park and its Bavarian counterpart straddle the Czech-German border in the largest forest and protected wildlife zone in Central Europe.

Since the Velvet Revolution in 1989 many expected wildlife would move in both directions across the former barrier, Prague Radio reported. Sustr is studying the wildlife by tagging and tracking them, and has found over a six-year study period the deer on the German side of the forest stay on the German side and the deer on the Czech side, stayed on that side of the border.

The study found the behavior of deer was very traditional and they were probably very conservative, and are repeating movements probably based on respect for a border that is no longer there, Sustr said.

"We have from the start one male deer that immediately after the melting of the snow crosses the border from the Czech side to Bavaria to find the same meadow every year on the Bavarian side. We knew about this exception from the start," Sustr told Radio Prague. "There was also later a male deer which was caught when it was 1 year old. He was not respecting all the rules we found before because he was moving in different areas on both the Czech and Bavarian sides of the border."

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