Bear feeding might be fined in Romania

Environment Minister Costel Alexe would like to sanction those who feed bears in the country. The minister stressed that feeding bears is one of the main reasons why they are entering towns and villages more often.

The minister, who was on a visit to Brassó (Brașov) on Monday, said that he is currently discussing the possibility of fining people who feed bears along the side of the road with the Ministry of Home Affairs and other relevant central and local authorities. He said that they agreed with his proposal. The minister also stressed that any form of feeding, including entrepreneurs who are setting up bear feeding points so that visitors can watch the animals in their “natural habitat,” must stop.

Costel Alexe thinks feeding bears is one of the main reasons they are entering towns and villages more often. Photo: Facebook/Costel Alexe

Alexe pointed out that on his way to Brassó, he saw several lines of cars, and in front of each there was a bear. “The citizens must understand that the bear is a wild animal, not a domestic one. It is a mistake to think that we are helping them by feeding them. In fact, it is the worst thing that we can do. If the animal gets food from man, it will never return to the mountains, to look for food on its own […] No matter how friendly it looks, it is still a wild animal, capable of killing,” the minister explained.

He also noted that a working group has been set up within the ministry to find solutions to the bear problem. “I hope that in the near future, we can find solutions to keep the big game in the forest,” he added.

The minister also announced that a project for a bear sanctuary in Brassó has been sent to the Ministry of European Funds for analysis; the project would require EUR 10 million from European funds. Alexe mentioned that the Competition Council is also analyzing another project for funding from the Environment Fund Administration. If accepted, small farms and authorized people carrying out agricultural activities in areas with bear problems could apply to receive electric protection fences.

Title image: Tourists feeding bears in Transzfogaras/Transfăgărășan last year. Photo: Youtube/ Luptăm Pentru România

Author: Orsi Sarány