Woman dies after bear attack in Romania

A 19-year-old woman died in the Romanian Carpathian Mountains after being attacked by a bear, local media reported on Wednesday.

She was dragged away by the wild animal while hiking in the Bucegi Massif, South of Brașov on Tuesday evening, a witness who made an emergency call said.

Less than an hour later, mountain rescuers and police came and recovered the woman’s body.

They shot the bear, as it had also tried to attack the rescue workers, the report said.

According to government estimates, around 8,000 brown bears live in Romania’s Carpathian Mountains.

The nation has the second-largest bear population in Europe, after Russia.

The animals, facing increasing urbanisation and encroachment of human activities, have in Romania repeatedly attacked hikers, invaded farms and rummaged through rubbish bins in cities including Brașov, in search of food.

After the latest death, Romania’s Environment Minister, Mircea Fechet, called for higher shooting quotas for bears.

As a minister, he had demanded an annual quota of 500 animals, but after consultation with other institutions, this figure was lowered to 220.

“Aggressive bears are repeatedly brought to other regions of Romania by the authorities but this method does not help,” Fechet said.

It only leads to “shifting the problem from one county to another.” (dpa/NAN)

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