Greek wildlife protection agency Arcturos receives overwhelming response to latest COVID-related campaign

Arcturos brown bear

More than 570 people from all over Greece, and a large number of volunteers from the Greek diaspora in the United States, Australia, England, and Germany, among other countries around the world have participated in the latest animal protection campaign of Arcturos, by donating and responding with heart-warming messages.

Arcturos is one of the biggest civil non-governmental and non-profit environmental organizations in Greece.

In December 2020, Arcturos launched a new campaign to inform people about the negative effects that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on non-profit organizations, which are usually left out during times of crisis.

Arcturos Bear Shelter, Nymfaio
Arcturos Bear Shelter, Nymfaio

Due to the coronavirus, Arcturos experienced a huge loss of 80% on its annual turnover, as a result of the significant reduction of visitors to its two shelters in Greece.

According to the non-profit organization, the number of people visiting the Arcturos animals or participated in its activities dropped by 25,000 compared to the year before.

Panos Stefanou, communication manager of Arcturos, stated that the outbreak of the virus had a dramatic effect on the organization, saying that in 2019, more than 43,000 people from all over the world visited the two shelters at Nymfaio and Agrapidies in Florina. In 2020, however, the number of visitors did not exceed 18,000.

“The loss is estimated in even greater numbers, given that in recent years there was a very big interest in animal protection, especially for the species that Arcturos protects, which are mostly about to become extinct in Greece,” Mr. Stefanou pointed out.

“We are so overwhelmed that so many people in Greece, Greeks that live abroad and also foreigners, responded to our call for support. Any helping hand is very important to us,” he added.

Arcturos aims to protect wild and rare animals that can be found in the North of Greece, including bears, wolves, jackals, otters, deer and wild goats.

Since its establishment 28 years ago, the organization has helped save thousands of animals in Greece and improve their living conditions.

In 2014, Arcturos hosted a global event presenting its research on Bear Study and Management, which up to this day is considered the most important world conference in its field.

Arcturos brown bear
Brown bear

Two decades ago, Arcturos launched a successful movement and campaign to stop the use of animals in circuses (such as the dancing bear phenomenon or the use of wild animals in acrobatics), and it also helped upgrade large, deforested forest areas in Greece, by planting over 150,000 trees.

“The danger for the smooth operation of Arcturos is now very intense”, Mr. Stefanou explained.

“It is the need to keep the organization alive and protect endangered animals that led us to carry out the support campaign, and so far the participation of Greeks from around the world is so moving.”

"Everyone can take part in the support campaign. Even your smallest contribution is super valuable because every animal counts,” he said.

People can make donations of 10 to 25 euros and are granted access to a virtual tour at the Bear Shelter of Arcturos, see the animals in their natural environment and get close to nature and its sounds.

For donations of 50 euros, people are able to become a member of the Arcturos family, while with a 100 euros donation, people are able to adopt a bear, a wolf or a shepherd dog, and help in the protection of wild animals in Greece.

To find out more about the Arcturos organization, its mission and how to get involved, visit: | ΑΡΚΤΟΥΡΟΣ

Arcturos Brown Bears

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Arcturos Shepherd Dog

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Arcturos JackalScreen Shot 2021 02 13 at 11.27.44 am

Nymfaio Village in Florina where Arcturos Shelters are located

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All photos from

Cats (of Syros). The Netflix Documentary.