A relocated bear may have simply ended up in another village

A wandering bear has kept the inhabitants of Gyergyóditró (Ditrău) busy the last couple of days: The big game was spotted in the village center on Sunday, while on Tuesday at dawn, the villagers chased the animal, which was most probably looking for food, away from several streets. The people from Gyergyóditró think that the bear wandering around their settlement is the same one that was relocated from the neighboring Gyergyószentmiklós (Gheorgheni in Romania) just a couple of days ago, Hungarian newspaper Székelyhon reports.

The villagers are waiting for the approval of the Ministry of Environmental Protection so that hunters can relocate the bear that has been living in their village for days. However, this might not be the best solution for this issue, as the bear can simply reappear in another town or village anytime, just as apparently happened in this case. There is no official evidence that the bear that entered the two settlements are the same, but the villagers are sure of this and footage taken of the big game also supports their opinion, or at least shows that the two animals are very alike.

The small bear cub was spotted near the Sláger Center of Gyergyószentmiklós. The town’s forest rangers drugged the big game and…

“In my opinion, this procedure of relocating bears from one place to another does not solve anything. Due to overgrowth and disturbance, forest habitats are more and more occupied by older, stronger bears that are more careful and are looking for quieter habitats and feeding grounds, thus displacing inexperienced, weaker young bears. These big game are instinctively searching for food and hiding places and fall back on easily accessible waste and livestock; they adapt to living near humans,” István Birtalan, the manager of the Hunter and Sport Fishing Association of Gyergyószentmiklós, told Székelyhon.

Istán Birtalan also said that he had not seen the bear that was spotted at the Sláger Center mall of Gyergyószentmiklós, nor the one that is roaming the streets of Gyergyóditró, only videos, so he could not clearly state whether it was the same or two different animals. However, he did not rule out the possibility that it could be the same one.

…transported and released it in the forest

“The forest rangers took the game from Gyergyószentmiklós and released it in the forests of Cengellér (Țengheler), so it is possible that from there, the animal went to the nearest place inhabited by people, to Gyergyóditró, in search of food. This procedure of taking the animal from one place to another does not solve anything. The forests everywhere are full of large, adult bears that scare off smaller bears. These bears cannot find a home in the forest,” the manager of the association added.

Elemér Puskás, the Mayor of Gyergyóditró, told Székelyhon that the bear was spotted after dark several times. They tried to chase the big game off and are happy that it did not cause any damage, the mayor added, stating that the approval of the Ministry of Environmental Protection, allowing for the relocation of the bear, should have arrived Tuesday afternoon. Elemér Puskás thinks the bear is used to dumpster-diving and will not survive in the wild.

Title image: The bear taken from Gyergyószentmiklós was released in the forests of Cengellér. Photos: Hargita Environmental Guard Facebook page

Author: Orsi Sarány