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In Celebration of Rewilding Europe

November 15, 2013

Silent, motionless, perched on a ledge at Las Batuecas, intent on capturing nuances of ancient lines that depict the might and manner of wild goats, I gain awareness of a large bird, voicing its coarse, high-pitched song in peaceful interludes from the trees behind me.

I turn to take in the privilege of its proximity and am surprised to find instead, five paces away, a family of well-fed corzos, roe deer, perhaps eleven of them, young and old, curious, cautious and perfectly at ease until, of course, I reach for my camera. They flee this dangerous predator, swiftly into the abyss, noiselessly scurrying away along imperceptible micro-ledges, wild, intelligent, free.

Generally described as a valley, the Parque natural de Las Batuecas is rather a small canyon in the Sierras de Béjar y Francia Biosphere Reserve, some two hours south of Salamanca and part of the greater rewilding area Western Iberia. After WILD10 I immersed myself in its quietude, mild micro climate and clear rivulets, wondrous to my body and soul.

On my days at Las Batuecas I also saw several families of beautiful Iberian ibex, I heard owls and saw snakes; with wild boars always more or less nearby. They all bolstered my thought that Rewilding Europe for sure will be a success: At WILD10 I saw the bright eyes and earnest demeanour of delegates at the Rewilding Europe sessions and workshops. Their commitment, intelligence, knowledge, creativity, organisational skills and Love of Nature are sure to turn the tables. Since Europe sets the world’s fashion trends, so can Europe turn on the world unto the heroics of the wilderness movement, the glam glitz and joys of making the world a wilder place. With such a WILD10 crowd, I know we are to see the ibex and other animals coming back.

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