bear attacks force politicians back to work – DW – 2024-10-07

The dramatic death of a 19-year-old hiker Romaniapp Carpathians has prompted Marcel Ciolacu, the country’s prime minister, to recall politicians from their summer recess for a special parliamentary session to deal with the growing problems with bear attacks.

The young woman was dragged away by the bear, according to a person who immediately contacted emergency services Tuesday night.

Mountain rescuers and police found the woman’s body about an hour later, but only after shooting the bear, which they said tried to attack them when they arrived at the scene.

Romania is home to approximately 8,000 brown bears

Romania is home to Europe’s largest the brown bear population outside of Russia, with an estimated 8,000 of them living there.

With attacks on people and livestock are regularly reportedenvironment minister Mircea Fechet, has called for an increase in shooting quotas.

In March, Fechet said 26 people had been killed by brown bears in Romania in the past 20 years.

Fighting bear attacks in Romania

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Fechet had called for an annual killing quota of 500 bears but the figure was lowered after consultation with other institutions.

Although the government granted local authorities the right to kill aggressive bears that could not be chased away or relocated, Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu said on Wednesday: “There will be no free-for-all for shooting bears in Romania.”

Ciolacu did not say when the special parliamentary session would take place, noting only that the purpose of the session would be to come up with measures that would help “high-risk areas”.

Human encroachment affecting bear behavior

One of the biggest drivers of the trend is believed to be largely human behavior, including urban encroachment into the bears’ natural habitat, logging and climate change.

Garbage dumps and garbage cans full of human waste as well as food left by tourists on trails are also seen as key factors.

Animal rights groups have argued that better prevention measures such as education, electric fencing and improved habitat management are the answer to the problem rather than killing more bears.

js/lo (dpa, Reuters)

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