The Krasnaya Polyana Biosphere Reserve

Sergei Bobyliev/TASS

The uniqueness of Sochi is not only due to its Black Sea coast. The Caucasus mountains with their rare animals and plants are also full of beauty. The Caucasus State Biosphere Reserve was founded to protect the natural riches of the region. In 2004, a special complex was created near Krasnaya Polyana, bringing together the animals of the Caucasus. Here, relictual and rare animals and birds from Russia’s Red Book of endangered species can roam wild in large enclosures in the woods in an environment almost identical to their natural habitat. Children and adults alike are charmed by the Caucasian wisent, the noble deer, roe and chamois, the wild boar and the aurochs. The predators of the reserve include wolves, foxes, lynx and forest wildcats, as well as the entertaining raccoons and badgers. Visitors will also see a range of birds of the Caucasus such as the falcon, black vulture, eagle and mallard. The reserve’s very first inhabitants were wounded and sick animals rescued by the staff.