Enjoy a 3 month free trial for all new pro members
Enjoy a 3 month free trial for all new pro members
Enjoy a 3 month free trial for all new pro members
Enjoy a 3 month free trial for all new pro members
Enjoy a 3 month free trial for all new pro members
Enjoy a 3 month free trial for all new pro members

The contract between the untamed Romania and its Bear King

One of the unique characteristics of Romania, often called as too wild for the modern world, is its untamed nature and extraordinary landscapes. Romania is not just wild, but naturally rich and fascinating, while Romanians have had through generations a specific connection with nature which seems embedded in their DNA. "The Romanians are brothers of the forest" it's not just an extract from a poem, it is people's reality. The country is also blessed with various landscape and fauna which luckily hasn't been exterminated like in other countries. The invasion of the human civilisations hasn't been that aggressive in Romania, which has become today, in the new area of environment protection and sustainability, a major asset. The untamed Romania is a unique place in Europe, where nature and people lived together in harmony for hundreds of years and they could still have a healthy relationship in the future.

That almost sounds like a fairytale, if contemporary life wouldn't contradict us. In reality Romania's biosphere is also invaded by the customs of the modern world and it seems the natural collaboration between people and nature is losing its balance.

In the last couple of years, the effects of climate change, but also of the people's improper behaviour, has been signalised by the king of fauna in Romania, The Carpathian Bear. Too many bears have been encountered in areas inhabited by people, leaving their natural habitat and getting very close to humans in a manner very atypical for their wild nature. Social media, as well as the classical one, has been fed with pictures of bears sitting on the side of the road and asking for food while posing for tourists, acting like a bizarre breed of a dog!

But are they getting domesticated or it is just a cry for help?

We believe the second is valid!

In October 2022 we partnered WWF in investigating what is the current relationship between people and bears and how do Romanians from two major cities related to this problem. We ran a qualitative survey in Bucharest and Brasov and we discovered some interesting things:

  • Bear problem is perceived among top four environmental issues in Romania, along climate change, garbage management and deforestation. The increasing number of bears, the fact their hibernation period shortened very much and they have more cubs makes the population difficult to control the issue
  • The problem has high awareness and alert levels in both cities, but people in Bucharest are more preoccupied with their security when going to the mountains, while people in Brasov are more accustomed with the problem, trying to find solutions and blaming people for not respecting rules and treating bears like mascots
  • There is a major gap between theory and practice in what concerns bears' situation in Romania. While people know very well they should not feed bears or leave garbage within their reach, they continue to do this whenever the case. There is a common thought that people behaviour can not change unless institutions cooperate and laws are reinforced
  • People unanimously believe bears should be happy in the woods and they should be satisfied by the food they find in high altitudes so they are not tempted to come down in the cities
  • There is a stringent need for information on what can be done and why it is important to respect rules (ex. controlled garbage bins proved their inefficiency as long as people forget their card and put the garbage next to the bin, attracting bears)
  • Feeding bears with snacks make them dependent on junk food, which becomes difficult to control them from coming down to humans. They just can't control their lust

Although climate change and deforestation are also causing this, as bears hibernate less, have more cubs or do not find food easily, there are so many things that people do wrong and they could correct, before it is too late to manage it harmoniously:

  • Education and information is crucial at this stage - share statistics, monitor the bears
  • Technology can also play an important role (creating watch-out monitoring applications for preserving the harmonious relationship between people and bears)
  • Create bear natural reservations for preserving their healthy habitat. Current reservations (ex. Zarnesti) are seen like "living cemeteries", where sick bears go to die, so there's a lot of place for improvement

Besides what people can do, private companies can involve as well. As Radu Pirca from Wall Street stated at WWF conference, if all the brands that use the image of the bear would pay image rights to the animal, what a good life it could have.

There is a lot of pride, joy and health in preserving the biosphere that Romania has been blessed with. Working in the favour of the bears is a privilege and honour and deserve every penny, as we nurture an important symbol of untamed Romania.



No items found.

Special Thanks