Hi, my name is Stania Kuspertova.
If you are on this page, you’d probably like to know something more about me. I’ll do my best to tell you my story and explain you how it happened that a Czech lady went to the Catalan Pyrenees to create the Zoo of the Pyrenees. Take a comfortable seat, it will take us a while.
This is me: one of my happiest moments when I was small.
I was born in the Czech Republic in a small village of 8.000 inhabitants. As far back as I can remember I loved animals and I was absolutely certain about one thing: I wanted to become a vet. But though both of my parents worked with animals (my father was a veterinary technician and my mother worked as an engineer in milk production in one these large agricultural aggrupation that were so typical in the eastern countries) they forbid me to study my dream career. Why? They had surely some good reason; they did what they considered the best for me.
I was 17 when I first met falconry. The reason for it had green eyes, long blond hair and was 19 years old. His name was Jan – oh, my first love :). He taught me how to take care of birds of prey, how to train them, during summer holidays we even organized a free-flying birds of prey exhibition in a caste. By the way: it was quite a great thing considering our age! Many people came to see our show; we appeared on the TV news! We decided: This is what we want to do for a living. But money was needed. So Jan would look for a job abroad while I still had hoped that I could convince my parents about my future as a vet.
But it was no way for them. I was 18 when I left my parents’ home and my country. With only a rucksack on my back I followed my boyfriend to north Germany, to the largest falcon breeding farm in the word. I was employed to clean and cook for the staff. But as I told you: I loved animals so dearly, and soon I not only cooked for the staff, but I took care of the whole falcons stock in the company as well. (The other staff concentrated on the training of the birds destined for the Arabian market.) And my life brought new changes. Jan was not happy in Germany and after 2 years of relationship we slipped apart.
I stayed and lived a happy life surrounded by falcons, nature and a lot of work.
As time passed by, I became the wife of the owner of the farm and the mother of three marvellous children (Martin, Anna and Lukas). Our falcons gained great reputation around the world, we travelled a lot. We spent a beautiful time in the USA as guests of the founder of “The Peregrine Foundation”, but of course most of our journeys took us to the Arabian countries. The most adventurous and exquisite journey I undertook was as a special guest of the Abu Dhabi Royal Family during the hunting trip to Pakistan. Nobody believed it! Never ever was a lady invited by Arabs to the hunting trip before! It was an enormous honour for me and a breath-taking experience – the best of my life.
But all the success and happiness didn’t last for long. Our neighbour built a mushroom farm boarding with our company. Unfortunately he didn’t care for the environment and in order to spare money he didn’t apply the filters to his facilities. The air filled with spores and with invisible but deadly spore toxins.
We had to move from our place in Germany.
There is no cure for lungs full of spores. I cried over my dear falcons seeing them how the spores disabled them to respire, how their liver grew large until it killed them, how babies were born blind – all due to the mushroom farm. We used the juristic legal way against our neighbour, but he was a rich friend of the politicians and we couldn’t win. To save our animals we took a quick decision. My husband had a “finca” in the Catalan Pyrenees; we would transfer all the company there as quick as possible. And that’s why in 2006 we moved to Spain with the family, all our animals and great part of our staff. The falcons with liver problems still were dying, but slowly hope turned to our hearts: that there was future for many of them.
A new period of my life started, but I was restless and unhappy. Finally I decided to make a step and start my life on my own. It came out that during all these years my husband put all the money we earned on his name. But we made a deal and he let me a small area with a house and helped me to build the basic construction of the zoo – so after 16 years with him I’d not stand on the street with nothing.
I met Eloi and I found in him my soulmate and a perfect partner.
Three and a half year it took us to get all the permissions we needed and ½ a year to build the basic structure of the zoo so we could open on June of 2014. And since then our life is full of happy and sad moments, we work as we never did before (please notice the irony, that one of the reasons that I left my husband was that I had no time for me and my children)… And here we are, this year our park will celebrate its 3rd anniversary and we hope it has a long path ahead. For we love our work and we think that the job we do has a profound sense: we hope that people who visited our park and had the opportunity to see healthy animals in the show, who could admire the spectacular flight of our wild neighbours (vultures, eagles, falcons…) and could meet, feed or cares some of the irrecoverable wild animals we take care for, that they sensibility to the problems of the environment will grow and that they will help to protect the nature in any possible way.