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Poland's Wild East

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In one of Europe's last truly wild regions, animals that have long since disappeared elsewhere still roam. The primaeval forest of Białowieża, on Poland’s eastern border to Belarus, is home to bison, beavers, otters, European elk, and even wolves. The Biebrza National Park provides a valuable sanctuary for these animals and rare wetland birds.

Once in danger of dying out, an international breeding program has boosted the number of bison in Eastern Poland to over 1.500 of these majestic creatures. Beavers and otters swim and dive through the meandering river, perfectly adapted to the subzero temperatures.

Around 2.500 wolves live in the area, mostly in harmony with the local population. Like elks, wolves can be dangerous, but they tend to avoid populated areas. The conservation of this wilderness may help them survive increasing urbanisation and intensive agricultural practices.