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Romania, Bear Attacks. Prime Minister Announces Extraordinary Session of Parliament

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After a bear fatally attacked a 19-year-old tourist on a mountain trail in Romania, the country's prime minister announced an extraordinary session of parliament. Romania is the country with the largest number of brown bears in Europe. The environment minister assessed that their population was “out of control”. The animals are having trouble finding a place to live and may be short of food because people are increasingly threatening their habitats and taking away their living space.

The tragedy that occurred in the Bucegi Mountains on Tuesday has shocked Romanians. A young couple came across a bear while climbing the Jepii Mici trail. The predator grabbed the tourist by the leg and dragged her. Meanwhile, the terrified woman was talking to the 112 operator, who heard her screams and calls for help. At the same time, a man who was with the woman was calling 112.

Rescuers arrived at the scene when the 19-year-old was already dead. They shot the bear when it tried to attack them too.

“The brown bear population in Romania is out of control”

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According to estimates by the Romanian Ministry of Environment, there are around 8,000 brown bears in the country – the largest number in Europe, if we do not take into account the almost 30 times larger territory Russia.

Health Minister Mircea Fechet said on Wednesday that “the population of brown bears in Romania is out of control and their relocation is not enough.”

In his opinion, euthanasia or culling of bears is necessary. The minister announced that he will propose increasing the quotas for culling these animals from 220 to 500 individuals.

Romania has the largest population of brown bears in EuropeShutterstock

Extraordinary parliamentary session on bears

Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu announced that an extraordinary session of parliament would be convened to regulate the bear population. He added that it would definitely not be possible to kill bears in any places, but only in those deemed “high-risk areas.”

Citing experts, Ciolacu said there are too many bears and not enough food for them.

President Klaus Iohannis, who is in Washington for a summit, also commented on the situation. FOR THIS. – I was shocked by this tragedy, especially since I was on the trail near this place a few days ago. It is not normal that people are killed by bears. It is obvious that we have too many bears and that bears hurt or kill too many people. It is necessary to make changes to the law, in compliance with European standards – he said. He added that in order to Romania healthy tourism can function, “animals cannot be allowed to kill people, but neither can killing animals for pleasure be allowed.”

He also criticized the legislative authorities for not taking action earlier and only “moving” when the tragedy occurred.

Bear attacks in Romania

The Romanian media regularly reports bear attacks on people, but in most cases the victims of predators escape alive.

The Environment Minister reported in March that bears had killed 26 people over the last 20 years.

In 2021, a government decree gave municipalities and towns the right to shoot bears that break into people’s gardens and homes if efforts to drive them away or relocate them proved unsuccessful. Animal rights activists criticized the decree at the time, saying officials had not done enough to try other preventive measures, including electric fences and better management.

They also stressed that bear attacks have intensified due to human activity, as the habitats of these animals are threatened by construction investments, deforestation and climate changes. Many bears are also attracted to garbage dumps on the outskirts of cities and by food left behind by tourists.

Author:momo//mrz, adso

Main image source: Shutterstock

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