“L’Orso e La Formica” has been not so much a project as a long journey, a small, but also great, adventure. Hundreds of days spent in the field and just as many passed behind a desk, discussing and choosing topics, doing research and interviewing people, looking together for systems and strategies to achieve our vision. Working together with enthusiasm and passion, five years flew by in an instant.
Implementing such an ambitious and complex project would obviously not have been possible without the collaboration and support of numerous friends and people who have believed in our ideas and goals, supporting us morally, intellectually and financially. Although we can’t list them all here, our deep gratitude goes to each and every one of them.
In particular, we would like to express our deepest gratitude to the generous private donors, the International Wolf Center, and the fStop Foundation. We also thank Camtraptions for their technical support.
The Project would not have been possible without our two main partners. The Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise National Park Authority has shared this adventure with us from the beginning, guaranteeing its wholehearted support through the authorisations necessary for filming and willing collaboration of its staff, in particular the promotions, scientific and surveillance departments. We would like to express our particular gratitude to Luciano Sammarone, Daniela D’Amico, Cinzia Sulli, Roberta Latini and, last but not least, Antonio Carrara, former President, with whom the Project started in 2017.
The Obiettivo Mediterraneo Cultural Association in the persons of Pascale Huitorel and Lorenzo Sestieri has accompanied us in putting together the Project’s complex administrative machine and guaranteeing its perfect functioning.
The Project has given us a chance to meet personalities from the world of research, conservation and protected area management, historians and landscape experts, livestock breeders, farmers and inhabitants of the lands of the bear. Each of them has made an important contribution to the Project with their particular knowledge and emotions.
The scientific data reported in the Project are the result of more than a decade of research and analysis carried out by the “Charles Darwin” Department of Biology and Biotechnology of “La Sapienza” University of Rome and the Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise National Park Authority, under the guidance of Luigi Boitani and Paolo Ciucci to whom we are deeply indebted for having shared our vision from the start and for their guidance in our search for funding.
We would also like to thank the many undergraduate and postgraduate students, technicians and volunteers whose motivation, passion and inexhaustible curiosity have been part of the bears’ history and of many tales of life in the field. A heartfelt thank you to Ezechia Trella, friend and profound expert in bears, for sharing insights and knowledge with us during much of the process. This Project is also a little bit his.
We would also like to remember all the “travelling companions” who have helped us get to this point, each in their own way: Marco Andreini, Luciana Carotenuto, Luca Chiaverini, Elmo Di Vito, Matteo Falco, Agostino Letardi, Luigi Maiorano, Massimo Mancini, Gabriele Mastropietro, Valerio Orazi, Mario Posillico, Valeria Roselli, Carlo Vitale.