People feeding bears will be fined in Romania, environment minister Costel Alexe said on Monday, July 6. He added that any form of feeding these wild animals must stop, local Agerpres reported.
The environment minister had discussions with colleagues from the Interior Ministry and representatives of the central and local public authorities to introduce fines for those who feed bears "on the side of the road."
Costel Alexe also warned that feeding the bears is dangerous both for the animals and for the people.
"I hope the population understands: the bear is a wild animal, not a pet. Feeding a bear is not a good thing. We do the greatest possible harm to that animal or the species. Once fed by man, let's not imagine that the bear will return to the mountains to look for food. […] No matter how friendly it may seem, it is a wild animal and can make victims. […] I saw on social media a person looking at the bear while feeding it," Alexe said.
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 recently been shared on social media, showing people getting very close to wild bears to feed them or take selfies with them, putting both the animals and themselves at risk.
Environment minister Costel Alexe said on Monday that a working group had been set up at the ministry to identify solutions for the bear population in Romania. At the same time, he mentioned that the EUR 10 million project on building a bear sanctuary in Brasov, with EU funds, was sent to the Ministry of European Funds for analysis.
(Photo source: Pexels.com)
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