The Kuterevo Bear Refuge
The village of Kuterevo is located along the northeastern slope of Velebit, on the very border of the Velebit Nature Park. In addition to forestry, the inhabitants of Kuterevo still practice an old trade - woodworking. Kuterevo is located near the road Senj - Otočac - Plitvice, and the road Otočac - Krasno - Sv. Juraj passes along the western edge of the Kuterevo hollow.
Due to its geographical location next to the area of densely populated bear habitats of North Velebit, the first Refuge for Young Bears in Croatia was established in Kuterevo, as a new home for young, abandoned bears.
The project of a refuge for young bears (popular name: Velebit bear) was initiated by the Croatian Center Znanje za okoliš (Environmental Knowledge), and the Velebit association Kuterevo - VUK is implementing the project on the ground. The main goal of the project is the construction and establishment of the first Croatian Sanctuary for young bears, in order to effectively help protect the brown bear species, and through the education of the local population and visitors to the Sanctuary, contribute to the strengthening of awareness of the particularly valuable biodiversity and the need to preserve it in this area Velebit Nature Park.
In Kuterevsko Utočište, a team of friends of nature works, which is made up of experts in the field of biology and ecology, as well as lay volunteers, who seek motives in their great love for bears. All of them selflessly and with a lot of effort take care of the bear inhabitants of Kuterevo, in the desire to ensure not only a safer future for the bears, but also living conditions that are closest to natural.
The Velebit refuge for young bears in Kuterevo serves as part of the visitor center and as an attractive point for the promotion of the Velebit Nature Park.
The first inhabitants of the Sanctuary: the bear couple Mrnjo Brundo and Janja Zora.