Red Backpacks is a series of educational family-centred programmes. The boy named Andrii and his faithful friend, the boxer dog Ray will travel to Bessarabia in search of rare and endangered animals on the instructions of Andrii’s grandfather, a scientist. On their way, Andrii and Ray photo-hunt unique animals from the Red List. They also discover new territories of Ukraine, learn many interesting things about tourism and, of course, make a lot of loyal friends.

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Our rare animals

Wildcat (Fellis silvestris)

The wildcat is a nimble and careful predator with thick grey-red fur, good hearing and vision. At first glance, it looks like a huge domestic cat, but at a closer look, a resident of wild mountains, forests and shrubs is identified by strong claws, solid paws and a thick striped tail.

Rosy pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus)

The rosy pelican is a symbol of the Danube Delta. In Ukraine, it is only a seasonal migrant. It breeds in colonies from a few dozen to many hundreds of pairs. Even though the pelican feeds almost exclusively on fish, it cannot dive, so it hunts for fish, scooping it with its bill in shallow waters.

European honey bee (Apis mellifera)

Even though the Danube bee is smaller than other species, it is well-known for its hard work and endurance. It collects nectar from unique flowers, primarily from marsh mint. This bee species is well adapted to changing weather conditions and consumes little food. It is also famous for its reduced aggressiveness – Danube beekeepers sometimes inspect the hives without a veil!

Beluga sturgeon (Huso huso)

Predator from the first days of life, beluga – a fish of the sturgeon family – has the honorary title of the largest of the fish that live in freshwater. Its ancestors appeared in the Jurassic period about 200 million years ago and survived the dinosaurs. The beluga lives in the sea but travels to the rivers for spawning, a kind of a cruise adventure. In the photo – a representative of the sturgeon family – sterlet.

European roller (Coracias garrulus)

The European roller is slightly smaller than the pigeon, and sometimes this blue bird is considered the legendary “bird of happiness”. The adult bird mostly has a bright greenish-blue colour, and the leading edge of the wings is purple-blue. In addition to their beauty, these birds are beneficial because they feed mainly on harmful insects.

What our viewers will know?

What Ukrainian Red List animals live in Bessarabia
What skills and equipment are essential to go on a photo hunt
How to go on unusual, interesting and safe trips
What exciting things, apart from unique animals, can be discovered in the South of Ukraine

Our hosts

Host Andrii Mateshko

Host of the travel show Red Backpacks. Andrii is an active teenager who dreams of exploring the world around him as an environmental activist. He already has experience in film production (films Hotel Edelweiss, The Orientalist, Foxter and Max; series Gordian Knot; cartoon Victor Robot).




Host Superdog Ray

Co-host of the travel show Red Backpacks. German boxer Ray is a kind, melancholic, sceptic and faithful friend. He loves his couch and watching new shows on YouTube. A journey through the Danube Delta will turn him into a real traveller and explorer.






Programme videos