Mysterious stone monuments mark the border between Europe and Asia: On a plateau in the northern Ural mountains the “Seven Strong Men” loom 50 meters high into the sky. The indigenous people regard “Manpupuner” as a place where ghosts gather.


Wild Russia – The Urals: Manpupuner / Pechora-Ilych Zapovednik / Komi Republic

Extending over 2,000 kilometres from the coast of the Arctic Ocean to the Kazakh border, the foothills of the Ural Mountains are covered in coniferous forests and softly blend into the adjacent steppe landscape. Hungry wolves roam the forest in search of prey, always wary of the larger solitary bears. The latter are the unchallenged rulers in the woods, which do not only supply them with animal food, but also with berries and honey – as long as they are willing to take on the fierce bees. A few stings are no big matter for the thick-skinned sweet-tooth, and so the bears skilfully climb even the highest trees to tear down the man-made beehives put there by the people of Bashkiria.

Wild Russia

Wild Russia – The Urals: Belaya River / Shulgan Tash Zapovednik / Republic of Bashkortostan

In contrast, the wolverine abides by small animals and carrion, which it carefully hides from the competing scavengers – a habit which gave it the reputation of being a glutton. Besides, mighty elks (moose) find their food here, even when the high snow cover already reaches the bear’s belly. For the first time it was filmed how herds of elk (moose) swim through broad rivers in late winter to find new feeding grounds. Hollow tree trunks are the preferred nesting places of the Ural Owl, as long as the chicks play along. At the age of eight weeks they are not yet fully fledged, but climb into the neighbouring trees anyway, where their parents then feed them. On the banks of the Ural River the animals gather not only for a drink: the water loving European minks are skilled fishers that have become rare elsewhere, while the Russian desman, a relative of the mole, dives for snails, using its long nose as a snorkel. “Wild Russia” shows the unique landscapes and species richness of the largest state in the world in breathtaking HD-quality.