Bears in Harghita scare locals, tourists. Four times more bears than normal. 5-8 incidents reported daily

Local authorities in Harghita warned that there are four times more bears in the county than it should be and that five to eight bear-related incidents are reported on a daily basis. The leader of Harghita county council, Borboly Csaba says they need the order on the bear intervention quota being released without public consultation, arguing that the human life should not be a public consultation’s topic.

Two actions are needed at present. One of them is urgent, to capture bears that attack people and other animals in the inhabited areas. The second action should be to draft the strategy and the laws on protecting species and the chase. However, I think the human life should have the first call, so waiver (to kill bears) is very urgent, but at present it’s under public consultation. But I consider the human life is no topic for public consultation. It’s like in a fire’s case the fireman would wait for the secretariat to issue a stamp on the roadmap,” Borboly Csaba argued.

The Harghita county council leader informed that 1,575 bears are living in the county, according to a report by the Agency for Environment Protection, while the optimal number would be 400-500 bears, if reported to “the so-called bear’s territory”, which “is ranging from 50 to 270 bears”.

We are not asking for the bears to be shot, we are asking for viable solutions, before these conflicts should be fatal. If 400 bears can live in Harghita county, then it’s the needed number. At present, 1,570 bears are living here, which is a fourfold overcrowding,” Borboly Csaba explained

Asked about the bears incidents, he said: “All attacks are generally reported at the city halls. We have at least 5-8 cases a day. And we talk about the reported cases, when animals are killed, not also about other cases, like the one in Tusnad, where the bear also destroyed a fence or a dust bin.

The local leader argued that there is no locality in the county that should not have received “a bear visit”.

Borboly said that most of the incidents have been reported to Mugeni, Zetea, Tuşnad, Madarasi, Ciumani, Danesti, Feliceni, Sandominic, Cozmeni, Plaiesi de Jos, Balan region, but attacks have been also signaled near Miercurea Ciuc and Toplita.

Eight persons have hospitalized so far this year after being attacked by bears.

We have managed to protect the bear in Harghita county, unlike other counties when it is threatened with extinction (…) But that doesn’t mean we have to allow children being killed by bears in Harghita. This is the tragedy, as children are banned to stay outside on the street or in the courtyard after 6 p.m. And this is not normal,” Borboly argued.

Two sheepherds were attacked by a bear in a forest in Harghita two days ago, being admitted in hospital with serious injuries. They were seriousy bitten and one of them has undergone surgery for genitals’ reconstruction.

Last week, Senator of the Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR) Tánczos Barna said that no bear hunting quotas or allowable trophy harvest number will be set for this year, but just emergency intervention quotas for special situations of bear attacks on humans, livestock, or for when the wild animals damage households or crops.

“Such interventions are individually approved, depending on incoming requests from the local authorities, and bear shooting is approved only when the animals cause trouble, pose a threat to human life or repeatedly return to the households and attack the livestock, people, destroy crops. Therefore, we speak strictly of intervention quotas,” Tánczos Barna said.

About 500 people from the counties of Harghita, Covasna, Mures and Brasov — mayors, farmers and representatives of joint land ownership structures — staged a protest in front of the Ministry of the Environment last Wednesday, asking for a derogation for shooting down dangerous bears that cause material damage and threaten people’s lives.

Bearschildrenharghitahospitalincidentslocalspublic consultationsheepherdstourists
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