There have been many debates of late around the subject of shooting the bear cub in Sibiu, an the people’s outrage is entirely justified.

As a person who has coordinated dozens of bear capturing interventions in an urban environment, on the streets of Brasov, I can tell you the whole thing was a total chaos, showing only an absolute lack of coordination between all the factors involved. And it was only natural for this to happen, considering Romania has only too few people and organisations specialized in such interventions, as we must also note that we have no laws or procedures that can be applied in such cases.

I tell you these things from the point of view of a person who had to deal for years with such a situation, where I had to choose between the safety of the citizens and of the people I coordinated, and the safety of the bear, which as we all know is a species protected by law, and I would have had to face trial if something had happened either to the animal or to some citizen in the area.

Why do I say these things? Because you have to understand that in such cases the authorities stutter, due to the lack of a legal basis that states who and how should take action. If we were to count the authorities that have intervened in the situation in Sibiu, you would see that legally they had no course of action to take, since the hunters have no qualification to shoot anywhere outside a forest environment, the police has no qualification to capture a wild animal racing through the city, they are only able to evacuate the area, the Veterinarian authorities have no tranquilizing equipment, no authorization for one, and probably also no person authorized to use one in an urban environment. As far as I’ve seen, there was an employee from the zoo present, but who either couldn’t get close enough to the bear to tranquilize it, or lacked the courage to do it, and this man is not to blame, since it’s one thing to tranquilize a caged animal and a completely different one to have to get close to a non-restrained animal which can react unpredictably especially due to the stress of being chased around the city.

This is why I say that such an intervention is not easy to coordinate, but it is also true that the circumstances could have lead to a safe capture of the bear cub.

It would have been enough if they had closed the gate after the cub entered that yard and the person with the tranquilizer gun had shot from the police car. The situation would have been solved in an easy and humane way, and we would not have been once again blamed all around the world.

I have seen on TV the way the Canadian authorities handled a similar case. Congratulations to them, but we must show that we can also manage such situations, that we have done so in the past in a professional manner, and that we are not the barbarians of Europe. This is why I have decided to post a clip of one of the interventions that I coordinated, to show that in a much more dangerous and risky situation we could capture a 300 kg female bear alive, from the roof of a three story building, in broad daylight around 10AM in the center of the city Brasov, along with her cub.

As I have mentioned, this is only one of the many such interventions I coordinated, with no incidents, and each time the bears ended up where they belong – back in the forest.

The situations are only similar in that both the animals were roaming freely in the city, but by comparison the case of the female bear and cub captured alive was much more dire.

It is obvious that the people who managed this situation had no idea what they were doing, had no legal means to aid them and acted on the spur of the moment.

Bărbulescu Flavius

General Manager of the association”Direcția pentru Monitorizarea și Protecția Animalelor”

Watch the clip of the female bear capture (unedited and uncensored – contains profanity)

Source: PROTV