25 years on, Czech deer still halt at the Iron Curtain

Photo: AFP  

Though dismantled a quarter-century ago, the Iron Curtain lives on in the minds of many deer, according to a six-year study by researchers at Sumava National Park, at the western edge of the Czech Republic in former Communist Czechoslovakia.

“Deer on the Czech side of the Bohemian Forest wander no farther than where barbed wire used to mark the restricted area along the national border,” said Pavel Sustr, a park zoologist who headed the study.

The Bohemian Forest borders directly on the Bavarian Forest along the south-eastern edge of the former West Germany.

As elsewhere along the erstwhile East-West divide, border fortifications sealed off Czechoslovakia from West Germany until the fall of Communist regimes in Europe in 1989.

The deer monitored in the study were fitted with radio collars.

Female deer, the researchers believe, pass on territorial boundaries to their young from generation to generation.

About 20 deer a year are fitted with radio transmitters in Bavarian Forest National Park.DPA