Bulgaria Starts Brown Bear Census amidst Attack Fears

Environment | October 17, 2012, Wednesday // 18:41|  views

Brown bears have been raiding livestock herds in Bulgaria's Rhodoppe Mountains. Photo by State Hunting Area Devin

Bulgaria's Environment Ministry is undertaking a brown bear amidst continuing reports of attacks by bears on livestock in the Southern Rhodope Mountains.

In the first nine months of 2012, there were over 50 cases bear attacks on domestic animals in Bulgaria that are defined as attacks; the last lethal brown bear attack on a human in the country was in 2010.

According to the Bulgarian Environment Ministry, the electric plasters that it has provided to locals recently are already keeping the bears at bay, and the number of attacks has decreased twofold year-on-year.

The locals in the Rhodope Mountains, however, remain wary of their contact with the bears, the bTV channel reported, citing residents of the village of Starnitsa, which has seen 7 brown bear attacks on humans in the past 10 months.

A local 91-year-old woman quoted is saying that bears have killed two of her sheep over the past year in two separate attacks.

"If you kill a human, you can get away. But if you kill a bear, you can't," a local village resident said, reiterating the complaints of many villagers in the Rhodope Mountains that the state authorities protect the bears but not the humans.

Starnitsa Mayor Ancho Timarov has joined the locals in their accusations of the central government, while telling about seven cases of livestock killed by brown bears in the recent months.

"Those in power are protecting the bears so much that they have forgotten there are humans living in this part [of the country]," he stated.

The report further says that nobody of the locals would dare kill a bear even if it is in their own backyard since they would face a BGN 5 000 as well as potential jail sentence.

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Tags: brown bear, brown bears, bear, bears, Rhodope Mountains, Rhodoppes, Rhodoppe Mountains, Starnitsa, Environment Ministry


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