The relocated herd of buffaloes has been attracting numerous tourists to the eco-park area created near Orlivka village in the wetlands of Kartal lake. The park is hosting sightseeing tours, tourist visitations and local activities such as buffalo milk products degustation (note that it is from Buffalo milk a famous Italian mozzarella is made).
The herd was translocated from Transcarpathia to Orlivka village, Odesa region and quickly became one of the most interesting objects for observation in the environmental park. The creation of experimental herd of water buffaloes in the Danube Delta is a pilot project aiming to support flood protection system of floodplain channels, enrich ecosystems in the area and provide new economic opportunities for the local communities in the unproductive territories.
Buffaloes are natural ameliorators as they clean up old channels in the Danube floodplain area by eating tough water vegetation and cleaning silted parts. Thus old channel's system is naturally maintained to ensure quick water release back to river during flood events.
Read: National Parks in Ukraine
Part of this initiative in Orlivka village was dedicated to training and teaching local people. The buffalo expert Michel Jacobi participated in the renewal of the buffalo population and taught locals how to take care of the buffaloes, how to make cheese from their milk and to produce buffalo products. Michel Jacobi is a German expert currently living in the buffalo region in the Transcarpathia (Ukraine) with extensive expertise about the buffalo habitat.
The Experimental herds of buffalo in Orlivka uses the experience of World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in Ukraine for the reintroduction of large herbivores on the Small Tataru island in the Danube Delta. WWF representatives have noted that once in southern Europe there were large populations of buffaloes, but their number decreased significantly in the twentieth century. Until now, buffaloes in Ukraine can only be seen in Askania Nova natural reserve and some farms in the Carpathians Mountains as well as at Goloseyevsky monastery.
Read: Beautiful Estuaries of Odesa Region
In recent month Orliva eco-park became one of the most popular travel destinations in Odesa region. You can book a guided group tour to the environmental park from Odesa or drive there on your own; the park is a 10-15-minute drive from Orlivka village.
Image source: truenaturefoundation.org . All images belong to their rightful owners.