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You thought rangers only exist in television serials, presumably with action-filled content? Not so. They are alive and kicking, especially in wild regions such as continental Dalmatia. Whenever you venture into the wild lands of Croatia’s mountainous national park of Velebit, chances are you will find these brave men and women. Velebit rangers on duty are a common sight, and are usually providing assistance to those in need or taking care of park’s everyday living. It is a hard work, but very respected in a country which tries to preserve its natural inheritance.

Photographed above is a ranger in his regular patrol across Velebit landscape. He is accompanied with a pair of Croatian horses, yet it is unknown whether they are his usual “back-up”. It is possible that he is leading them to a pasture, or some other spot where they can dwell in peace. Horses can also be used as means of cargo transport, but according to Croatian law, there is a specific amount of weight that they are allowed to carry.

Despite having a hard job, Velebit rangers on duty at least have gorgeous outdoor working place. The grandiose massif of Velebit numbers 145 kilometers, sprawling across two counties of Croatia (Zadar and Lika-Senj). It belongs to Dinarid Highlands, with towns of Gospic, Karlobag, Otocac, Starigrad and Senj in vicinity. The latest serves as a home to internationally known knight tournament of Alka.

Velebit is also one of the best places for mountain-tracking in Croatia. There are dozens of paths leading to various points of interest, some designed for beginners, while others will demand a more experienced climber in good physical condition. The highest peak is Vaganski vrh, numbering 1757 meters.

The whole mountain has a status of Nature Park, while its northern region and Paklenica area have an even higher title- that of a National Park. Speleologists are also free to explore the deep caverns present onsite.

Always ready to protect the nature and assist the guests of attractive park, Velebit rangers on duty are an impressive sight, and inspiration to all with their dedication, care and professional stance.


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