POLITICS

New bear attack in Dambovita County: one killed in Moroieni

Bear nightmare still unfolding in Dambovita County. A 64-year old man was killed by a bear in Moroieni yesterday morning, a few days after another attack where someone had been killed and two people injured in two neighbouring localities. Dambovita Police and Gendarmerie officials say the incident happened at about 8 am in a secluded area with difficult access near the forest. A shepherd also came close to his death yesterday, when he was attacked by a bear in a remote area in the Dealu Frumos village, Pietrosita commune. The man fortunately found shelter in a cabin and was not hurt.Dambovita Prefect Dragos Rusu says the Moroieni case where a man was killed yesterday morning was caused by poaching. ‘The bear had been trapped in a loop and had been wounded. It was clearly poaching. We don’t know what the victim was doing there – if he was just there by accident or of he had set the trap,’ Mediafax quotes Rusu as saying. He noted the trap was set between trees and most likely the animal had struggled for hours before it broke the loop by uprooting the trees and escaped into the woods. Environment Minister Rovana Plumb said the incident reported yesterday morning had happened on the same hunting grounds as those where the bear that attacked three people on Saturday was living, where and area of 30 km was quarantined. She says it’s inadmissible that the association that manages the hunting grounds in Dambovita has not mobilised all its capabilities after the incident on Saturday, as it was under an obligation to protect the residents. Moreover, the minister also says there are ‘suppositions’ that 80 bears live on those hunting grounds instead of 23 as the rule states. ‘We are looking into it and will see exactly how many bears there are on those hunting grounds and if the association in charge is capable of managing it properly. If not, it will lose its permit,’ the minister added. Rovana Plumb also said on Tuesday she had signed a derogation order approving the relocation of 335 bears this year. The quota is similar to last year’s, but that one was not fulfilled, 130 bears being not moved. Having personally travelled to Moroieni together with the head of the National Environment Guard, Ovidiu Daescu, yesterday, the minister also said the total number of bears living is Romania is estimated at 6,000. Local authorities however are trying to place responsibility on other. Dambovita County Council President Adrian Tutuianu admits ‘the optimal number of bears on hunting grounds’ has been exceeded in his county. He also notes that arrangements have been made for harvesting the animals, but that the Ministry of Environment also needs to approve such operation. On the other hand, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Romania President Magor Csibi says the bear population must be counted and their habitats and migration routes should be identified in order to be able to properly warn tourists and residents and thus prevent situations like the one in Dambovita. He noted that Romania is home to 65 per cent of the entire bear population in Europe. On the other hand, the minister’s forestry adviser, Maria Mihail, says the Environment Ministry will approve the shooting of the bear that killed a man yesterday. ‘If he is found wounded, the Ministry of Environment will approve its shooting,’ Mihail also said. Meanwhile, impressive forces have been mobilised in the area, with several teams of policemen, gendarmes, forestry specialists and hunters accompanied by four dog teams from the Sibiu Kennel Centre currently hunting down the bear. Dambovita Police Chief Danil Zepis warns the animal is particularly dangerous as it may be injured.

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