Romania has just reopened the country to the hunting of bears and wolves. In October 2016, Safari Club International reported that Romania’s Environment Minister Cristina Pasca Palmer reversed an order that allowed the hunting of the country’s brown bears, wolves, lynx and wild cats. Less than a year later and after an increased number of wildlife attacks on humans, Romania’s current Environment Minister Grațiela Gavrilescu announced an executive order declaring that 140 bears and 97 wolves would be relocated or harvested by the end of 2017. A government-appointed commission of scientists backed the move, saying that it did not "endanger the conservation of these two species."
Romania’s bears represent approximately 60 percent of Europe's bear population. Most of Romania’s bears roam in the Carpathian Mountains. In recent months, an increasing number of bears have entered towns and villages looking for food. In July, two shepherds were seriously injured in a bear attack in the Carpathian region. A month earlier, authorities temporarily had to close the Poenari Castle—the inspiration for Bram Stoker's gothic novel "Dracula"—after tourists came face-to-face with a mother bear and her three cubs.
According to Minister Gavrilescu: “The number of large carnivores, bears especially, exceeds 7,000 in Romania, and that’s why I had the courage to take responsibility to sign a ministerial order that was very well negotiated with NGOs and all the local authorities that have encountered problems with these large carnivores. It doesn’t matter who is going to protest in front of the ministry.” Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-09-romania-wolves.html#jCp.
Romania’s reversal of its position on large carnivore hunting demonstrates the reality that hunting plays an important role in the management of wildlife populations and that science cannot be overcome by anti-hunting sentiment. Minister Gavrilescu and the Romania government are to be commended for standing up to anti-hunters and for bringing reason back to the management of predator populations in Romania.