Romanian minister approves the shooting of 140 bears, announces fines for those feeding the animals
A total of 140 bears are to be shot in Romania under a ministerial order. The minister of environment Gratiela Gavrilescu announced earlier this week that she has already sent to the Official Gazette, for publication, the order approving the intervention quota for 140 bears, local Mediafax reported.
The minister also said that the people who feed the bears or get too close to them to take pictures would be fined.
“I sincerely say that I am disappointed and often stunned when I watch TV and see (...) that we are fueling this tendency to bring the bear closer to us and put us in danger instead of leaving them alone, that we are throwing our waste and thus give the bear the opportunity to descend from the mountain and often enter cities where the citizens wouldn’t expect to meet a bear on a public road or in their own gardens,” the minister said during her visit at the Zarnesti bear sanctuary in Brasov county. “People who will behave like this will receive a fine,” she added.
Bears are protected species by international and Romanian laws. This means that regular bear hunting for sport or trophy is not allowed in Romania. However, bears can be killed here in certain cases, but only if the Ministry of Environment issues a ministerial order. For example, if a bear causes serious damage or poses threats to the population, the minister can issue a killing permit.
Estimations say that Romania’s forests are home to about 6,000 brown bears, the largest population in the European Union. Unfortunately, there have been many cases of bears going out of the forests to look for food in cities and, in some cases, this even led to human-bear conflicts. Moreover, a few worrying videos have been shared on social media recently, showing people getting very close to wild bears to feed them or take selfies with them, putting both the animals and themselves at risk.
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