A Liechtensteiner prince has come under fire from animal-rights activists after he travelled to Romania to kill the largest brown bear in the country.
Prince Emanuel von und zu Liechtenstein is said to have visited Romania in March, and, for a fee of EUR 7,000 (GBP 6,053), shot the largest brown bear in the country, according to ProTV News.
According to Gabriel Paun, president of environmental NGO Agent Green, the bear, named Arthur, was 17 years old and may have even been the largest of its kind in the European Union.
Bear hunting in Romania is only permitted on an exceptional basis and as a last resort if the animal endangers human lives and households, or damages farmland.
Romania’s Ministry of the Environment had issued a special permit to allow the hunting of a female bear and her cubs, which had caused damage to some farms in the commune of Ojdula last year.
The 32-year-old, who resides in the Austrian municipality of Riegersburg, ostensibly made the hunting trip on this pretext.
However, he ended up shooting dead Arthur instead, who lived deep inside the forest in the Oituz-Ojdula nature preserve.
Paun said: “Measurements of the body showed that Arthur was worth 593 points out of a total of 600, which is the maximum score in trophy hunting.
“I wonder how the prince could mistake a small female with cubs that usually ventures into villages with the largest male that lived deep in the forest.
“It is obvious that the prince did not travel to Romania to solve the villagers’ problem but to kill the bear and take home a much-coveted trophy to hang on the wall.
“This amounts to poaching, as the wrong bear was shot.”
The brown bear (Ursus arctos) is strictly protected under EU law and the Berne Convention.
Romania has the largest brown bear population in the EU, and, in recent years, many have left the forest and entered villages and towns in search of food.
Romania is also home to the EU’s largest brown bear sanctuary and rehabilitation centre, in the town of Zarnesti.
Its website can be visited at: http://millionsoffriends.org/libearty/viziteaza-sanctuarul/.
To find out more about the author, editor or agency that supplied this story – please click below.
Story By: James King, Sub-Editor: Joe Golder, Agency: Newsflash
The Ananova page is created by and dedicated to professional, independent freelance journalists. It is a place for us to showcase our work. When our news is sold to our media partners, we will include the link here.