Shepherds killed and injured by bears in Maros and Hargita County

An old shepherd has disappeared from his sheepfold in Gernyeszeg (Gornești) in Maros (Mureș) County, his son announced the police on Sunday morning. The authorities have started to search for the man immediately, but, unfortunately, the shepherd was found dead not far from the hold. His body was covered with bites from wild animals, Hungarian newspaper, Székelyhon reports. However, this was not the only bear attack over the weekend in the region, a shepherd was killed by bears, another injured on Friday in Hargita County.

A young man from Marostelek (Teleac), belonging to Gernyeszeg municipality, informed the Maros County police on Sunday morning at 5 a.m. that his 80-year-old father have disappeared from a sheepfold near the village. A troop, eleven policeman, four gendarmes, four mountain rescuers, a gamekeeper and a police dog was sent immediately to look for the old man. They have found the body of the old shepherd, covered by injures and bites from wild animals just 300 meters away from the fold, Aurica Sabău, the spokeperson of the county police informed Székelyhon.

The government accepted the law on the immediate removal of dangerous bears visiting inhabited areas just last week. Photo: Medveakadémia Facebook Page

Most probably, a bear may have injured the man to death while he was trying to protect the sheep from the big game and to scare it away, Gyula Kolcsár, the mayor of Gernyeszeg told Székelyhon. After killing the shepherd, the wild animal dragged its body to the woods, the mayor added.

Gyula Kolcsár also said that more and more bears are regular visitors at the farms of secluded villages. The animals are also becoming more and more aggressive, the mayor of Gernyszeg stressed, adding that while bears have appeared only at night before, nowadays they can be spotted at broad daylight as well. According to the mayor, just on Sunday morning, the villagers were alerted three times because of bears.

“We know about six mother bears, each with 2 or 3 cubs, that are hooked on cows and sheep, they come regularly, and the people are terrified,” the mayor told Székelyhon. Gyula Kolcsár also added the life and livelihood of people are at risk, as they must graze their animals outside of the village, they cannot keep them locked in their yards.

Victim of a bear attack operated for seven hours

The 80-year-old man was not the only shepherd that was killed by bears over the weekend: The big game attacked another farm near Drăgoiasa village, at the border of Suceava, Maros and Hargita Counties on Friday evening, killing a 26-year-old man, and injuring another 45-year-old shepherd. The injured man underwent a seven-hour long surgery in the Saint Spiridon Hospital of Jászvásár (Iași), Székelyhon also reports.

The bear attacked the cattle of the three shepherd from Maros County. The men tried to scare the big game away, that is when the bear attacked and severely injuring two of them, the 26-year-old man, who tried to hide in the forest, was killed by the wild animal. His body was found by the troops looking for him on Saturday morning. The third man survived the attack and called the 112 emergency number to announce the incident.

More than 60 people were killed by bears in the last couple of years. Photo: Attila Csiszér/Székelyhon

Dr. Diana Cimpoeşu, the coordinator of the Iaşi County SMURD informed Agerpres news agency that the man suffered severe head trauma, multiple facial fractures, abdominal injuries, while the bear also snapped off several of his fingers. The shepherd’s body was also covered with bite marks, but he was conscious when the SMURD team took him over. The young victim was transported to the Hospital from Suceava, and moved to the facial, jaw and oral surgery department of the Jászvásár Hospital on Saturday morning.

The operation, that lasted approximately seven hours, was performed by a team of several specialist, including a facial plastic surgeon.

“Currently, the patient is hemodynamically stable, he is intubated, mechanically ventilated, and we hope that his condition will get better,” Ovidiu Popa, the head physician of the hospital announced. The doctor also added, the victim will need several other facial plastic surgeries.

Title image: Bears represent a great danger in more then 10 counties of Romania, the people from Kovászna (Covasna) County aren’t save either. Photo: László Beliczay/Székelyhon

Author: Orsi Sarány