Dina Levačić's Campaign for Monk Seal Preservation and Mental Health

Dina Levačić’s Campaign for Monk Seal Preservation and Mental Health

Croatian open water swimmer Dina Levačić utilized her popularity in Croatia to advocate for the protection of endangered Mediterranean monk seals. On June 14th, she embarked on an eight-kilometer swim in the Adriatic Sea, near Cape Stupišće and the island of Biševo, which includes the Medvidina water cave, one of the few suitable habitats for the monk seals in Croatia.

Through this campaign, Levačić aimed to raise awareness about the importance of preserving monk seal habitats as they are often disturbed by tourists and promote the connection between mental health and nature conservation.

Levačić expressed gratitude to her support team and skippers for their assistance during the swim.

What a memorable day it was.

Waking up at 4:00. We eagerly awaited our trip to Komiza to see the conditions at sea live. Immediately, Darko and I were filled with joy, but there was a question of how long it would last.

A big THANK YOU to Nikola and Domagoj, who, without any persuasion, agreed to be our skippers/captains and did an excellent job, as if they do it every day, and believe me, it’s not easy to follow swimmers.

We started from Cape Stupišće at the moment when the sun had just risen and struggled to break through the clouds with its warmth.

Tap tap, tap tap, Darko and I found ourselves in front of the Medvidina cave. There was a little wave, a little current, but our happiness knew no bounds, especially for Darko, as this was the longest distance he had swum. Pride to the sky, just as it should be. Bravo, Darko.

And my experience wouldn’t be complete without a detail. Right in front of the cave, while watching my Ogi explore the waters of Biševo, I got stung by a jellyfish, not once, but three times. I made a little fuss 😂 and forgot everything at the entrance to the Medvidina cave (note: we had permits issued by SDZ for entering the cave and taking photographs!). I was a bit scared, but the desire to enter was stronger, and I overcame it. After all, Darko was with me 😁.

We both said, “So this is where the Mediterranean seal rested and stayed.” Hopefully, that place will be protected soon, at least from ship entry.

Thunder in the distance chased us back to the boat, and we returned to Komiza.

While we were enjoying ourselves in the water, the hardworking Martina from the Association for Nature, Environment, and Sustainable Development Sunce and Tomo from BIOM were painting a mural, leaving a mark and a message for some new kids

Dina Levačić

Despite encountering jellyfish stings, she and her companion Darko successfully reached the Medvidina cave. In addition to the swimming campaign, Levačić and her partner Dr. Darko Hren participated in lectures and environmental education activities organized by BIOM, and visited a specially designed monk seal mural in Komiža.