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Wildlife escapades: A closer look at Azerbaijan’s beloved goitered gazelles

Wildlife escapades: A closer look at Azerbaijan’s beloved goitered gazelles
Copyright euronews
Copyright euronews
By Anca Ulea
Published on
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Goitered gazelles almost disappeared from the Caucasus region in the 1960s. Today, they’re flourishing at Shirvan National Park in Azerbaijan. We take a closer look on a day trip from Baku.

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In this episode of Explore Azerbaijan, Euronews reporter Anca Ulea discovers some of the diverse natural landscapes around Baku on a day trip to Shirvan National Park.

Located an hour and a half’s drive away from Azerbaijan’s capital, the park was founded in 2003 to protect the indigenous goitered gazelle, a species that almost went extinct in the 1960s due to overdevelopment and poaching.

Anca explores Shirvan’s grasslands in an off-roading vehicle, alongside the park’s director Seymour Karimov, who takes her to an observation deck to see the gazelles up close. Shirvan National Park is now home to some 7,000 goitered gazelles, one of the largest populations in the whole Caucasus region.

Frustrated with her lacklustre photos, Anca meets up with Azeri wildlife photographer Aleksey Lyokin, who gives her some tips on how to improve her shots. They take photos of birds together, capturing some of the 230 species that frequent the park.

On her way back to Baku, Anca stops by the Gobustan Historical and Artistic Reserve. The outdoor museum is known for its remarkable collection of rock art dating back to the Mesolithic Era, and is a popular tourist destination during the day.

As the sun begins to set, Anca heads up to the top of Boyukdash mountain to take in the view over some tea. The wild landscape takes on a mystical air at golden hour, bringing an end to the day’s adventure.

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