Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Bear attacks increase in Transylvania resort town

‘Residents of the Transylvanian mountain resort of Tusnad are on alert after several of the scores of bears living near the town attacked tourists and locals’

Ana Maria Luca

Security forces have been conducting constant patrols of the Romanian mountain resort of Tusnad in eastern Transylvania after bears attacked several tourists and residents in recent weeks, angering local officals who want the government to allow hunting or to relocate the animals.

In the latest incident, two firemen were attacked on Sunday morning while on the way to work by a female bear with two cubs. Both of them sustained serious injuries and one needed surgery.

On July 25, a participant in the Abrad Summer School for Hungarians, hosted by Hunagrian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in the Transylvanian mountain resort, was also attacked by a bear.

The same week, a hungry bear broke into a local orphanage that caters to 50 children and raided the kitchen supplies.

According to the local administration, which summoned an emergency council meeying on Monday, bear attacks in the mountain resort are very common and local residents have been “terrorised” by the animals for several years, said a press release issued on Monday night.

Specialists say that at least 40 bears live in the forest around the town and 15 of them have their dens in the immediate vicinity of Tusnad and are very often spotted in search of food around town.

During the night from Sunday to Monday, police and gendarmes chased five bears out of town town, the local administration’s press release also read.

According to Romanian legislation, bears can be only hunted with a special permission from the Ministry of the Environment and only if they pose a deadly threat to humans.

Tușnad is the smallest town in Romania, with a population of 1,617, and in recent years has been attracting many tourists interested in bear sightings.

Here’s the deal. The presence of bears has brought an increase in tourists. Generally, tourists want to see bears up close. That is not a good idea. A good idea is to keep tourists and bears a safe distance apart. Tusnad makes money from tourism, but is unable to keep bears from attacking local residents and raiding local buildings. The more people in bear land, the more attacks by bears. Or, the more bears in people land, the more attacks by bears. Keep out the people or keep out the bears. Simple.

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