Bear problem: Authorities sent six alerts in a single day in Hargita County

Bears visited several settlements on Monday, May 31, in Hargita (Harghita in Romanian): The County Inspectorate for Emergency Situations (ISU) sent out six emergency alerts (Ro Alerts) from dawn to late at night, reporting the presence of bears, Hungarian newspaper Székelyhon reports.

The authorities received the first call about a wandering bear at dawn from Vasláb (Voșlăbeni); the gendarmerie and an ambulance responded to the scene. People nearby were informed about the presence of the animal through a Ro Alert.

Another bear was spotted in Homoródfürdő (Băile Homorod) just before 10:00 a.m., and a different wild animal visited Nagykadács (Cădaciu Mare) right after 4:00 p.m. The big game is a regular visitor of the latter settlement, which belongs to Siménfalva (Șimonești), as it was seen several times over the last few days and was spotted again on Monday around 8:00 p.m. People living in the village received many Ro Alerts during the day. Around 9:30 p.m., another bear appeared in Tusnádfürdő (Băile Tușnad), near the train station. The authorities received the last call on Monday late at night from Gyergyóvárhegy (Subcetate).

It is not unusual for so many bears to be spotted in different settlements of the county on a single day. From May 26 to May 27, the authorities received four calls reporting the big game, local newspaper Hargita Népe reports.

Bears spotted near Székelyuydvarhely in broad daylight at the beginning of May. Photo: Székelyhon

According to the press office of the county gendarmerie, a woman called the 112 emergency number on Wednesday morning to report a mother bear and four of its cubs wandering around the Bánffy public pool in Maroshévíz (Toplița). The gendarmes arriving at the scene returned the animals to the forest. Just three hours later, the authorities received another call, reporting a bear spotted in Tusnádfürdő. Wednesday evening, a tourist saw yet another one in Tusnádfürdő when the big game was walking down a street. The gendarmes “shepherded” this bear and another mother with a cub back to the forest.

Then on Thursday morning, an employee of a restaurant called the authorities, reporting that a bear had most likely broken down the restaurant’s door. The authorities arriving at the scene did not find the animal.

According to the people reporting the presence of the bears, all the animals were looking for food in the settlements.

Mother with cubs at the bear observation location near Hargita County. Photo: Medveles Facebook Page

On May 26, a car near Székelyudvarhely (Odorheiu Secuiesc) hit another bear, Gheorghe Filip, spokesperson of the Harghita County Police Inspectorate, announced. The accident happened around 10:00 p.m., and the authorities have been looking for the animal, Gheorghe Filip said. Hargita Népe spoke with Leonard Mărmureanu-Bíró, president of the competent Nagyküküllő Hunting and Fishing Association. He said that their members have found the marks of the animal and are looking for it in order to make sure that it has no serious injuries and is not in an area frequently visited by people, especially tourists and mushroom-pickers.

The gendarmerie asked people to store their garbage carefully and call the 112 emergency number immediately if they see a bear; they also asked that people not try to scare off the animal, feed it, photograph it or approach it.

Title image (illustration): The presence of bears represents a great danger to the people living in Hargita County. The growth of the bear population is a consequence of a bad governmental decision made in 2016. Photo: MTI

Author: Orsi Sarány