Wild Greece – The View from the Gods

1 x 52 min
Director, Script, Camera:  Johannes Berger and Stephan Krasser
A co-production by ORF, ARTE, NDR and WEGA Film in association with ORF-Enterprise and BMB.

With almost 78% of its landmass covered by mountains, Greece is rightly classified as mountainous. The inaccessible forests of the Pindos Mountains are one of the brown bear’s last retreats in Europe. Here they were never extinct; on the contrary, the population is even growing! There are currently believed to be over 500 brown bears in Greece. Large freshwater lakes characterize much of the landscape of Greece. At Lake Kerkini, the exotic Dalmatian pelicans are found every winter.. Hundreds of pelicans hunt with thousands of cormorants. The Vikos Gorge is the deepest gorge in the world and home of the Western rock nuthatch. He uses crushed insects to build his nest in the vertical rock walls. The Meteora monasteries are built on top of 300 meter high rock needles. In a cave in sight of this UNESCO World Heritage site breeds the last pair of Egyptian vultures. Below the monasteries hunts the bush cricket, the largest six-legged carnivore in Europe, a ghost from Greek mythology – the Empusa, a praying mantis. But even the winner lives dangerously, he shares his living space with the longest lizard in Europe – the Scheltopusik. On Olympus, the “Plateau of the Muses” or  the “mountain of the gods,” the Balkan chamois have their refuge. In summer, there is plenty of food for the young up here. The little ones frolick on the slopes. Only 200 live on the highest mountain in Greece.