If you go into the hills today...

Strange footprints in the snow... it can only mean that the bears of the Tatra mountains are waking from their long winter nap, roused by the first touches of spring in southern Poland. As the sunshine brings tourists to Zakopane, Nowy Targ and surrounding resorts, so it brings the region's wildlife out of a long season of hibernation. This year, tourists visiting the Chochołowska valley were the first to report bear tracks. And more will soon follow, according to Tatra wildlife expert Filip Zięba, who told Polish media that all the region's bears would soon be awake. Experts estimate that up to 70 bears could be living in the Tatra mountains, and around 100 in the Carpathians. They are rare, but can be spotted every once in a while around the areas of Zywiec Beskid, Beskid Sadecki, the Lower Beskid Mountains and Bieszczady. Each year an adult female can give birth to up to three cubs.

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