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Fake tourist attractions: all bear reservations are a facade for hunting

de A.C.     HotNews.ro
Luni, 29 decembrie 2008, 17:11 English | Top News

Romania can pride itself with the biggest bear reservation in the world, about which even Animal Planet made a documentary. However, the reasons for which the Liberty reservation in Zarnesti, Center Romania are not necessarily pride worthy. Most illegal bear owners are actually hunters. Zoos close their gates, leaving animals to starve to death. Founders of the Bear Sanctuary Reservation in Zarnesti, Cristina Lapis and Victor Watkins talk in an interview for HotNews.ro about the reservation.

Cristina Lapis said that there are about 3,000 brown bears in Romania and about 6,000 hunters. Even if the numbers are impressive, it dropped after the Communist regime collapsed and many bears are now in danger if real measures are not taken to protect them. Cristina Lapis thus concluded that the reservation aims at protecting the bears.

Watkins declared that the reservation, by opening up their gates to visitors, hopes to gather money to save bears, pay the personnel and maintain proper conditions. However, both admit that the toughest challenge is to change mentalities in Romania, as there are many hunters who kill bears and leave their babies deserted.

The two warn that people need to understand that bears are not an entertainment, especially when they come visit garbage bins in Brasov or Sinaia. Watkins declared that last year a bear was found dead near a garbage and the autopsy revealed that the bear had eaten 18 plastic bags that lead to its death.

Cristina Lapis added that Romanian laws respect the Bern Convention, which means that it protects the brown bear but Romania's prestige was affected because of the way animals are treated as well. The sanctuary that they have formed proves that Romanians are not barbarians, on the contrary. This, she says, is a chance for future generations to prove that they care about animals.




















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