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A bear was shot dead in Prespa

On Friday, September 10th, a female bear, about six years old, was found dead near Vrontero, Prespa, specifically in the “Pyxos” area. The NGO “ARCTUROS” was informed about the incident by a citizen and they directly passed the information to the Management Authority of Prespa National Park, the Society for the Protection of Prespa and the Florina Forestry Office, who rushed to the area together with the Department of Veterinary of the Regional Unit of Florina, the Municipality of Prespa and the NGO “CALLISTO” . The autopsy revealed that the death of the animal was not instantaneous and resulted from a shot in the back that penetrated the lung.

It is known that the brown bear is a species that is strictly protected by national and EU legislation, but also by the International Convention of Berne for the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats. Criminal acts such as the killing of protected wildlife are punishable. The conservation status of the brown bear in Greece falls into the category of “endangered species”, as its population amounts to 500(min.) in Greece.

The phenomena of damages to the rural economy and wild life approaching to residential areas sometimes create conflicts that in any case should be resolved without violence or illegal means. This is the goal of the LIFE ARCPROM project that is being implemented in the region (as well as in 3 more National Parks in Greece and Italy), with the Management Authority of Prespa National Park and CALLISTO being two of its eight implementing partners. The two partners appeal to all residents of the area who may be facing challenges in terms of coexistence with the brown bear, to participate in the processes of the Local Consultation Platform that has been created for this purpose through the project.

LIFE ARCPROM aims to improve the conditions of human and bear coexistence both through information and training actions of residents and organizations in the area, and through the implementation of effective measures to prevent damage by large carnivores to the agricultural economy (such as electric fences and livestock guarding dogs). The project is also dealing with incidents of bears familiarization and their approach to residential areas (by limiting the availability of anthropogenic food sources near residential areas, installation of special deterrents, operation of Bear Emergency Teams, etc.)

Illegal killings of bears, such as the one that took place a few days ago, have unfortunately happened many times in the past in the wider area of Prespa. The Management Authority of Prespa National Park, CALLISTO, the Society for the Protection of Prespa and ARCTUROS denounce the heinous crime of killing a brown bear, and hope that the competent authorities will follow the prescribed procedures in order to implement the law. Finally, they pledge to continue working with the local community to put an end to the catastrophic phenomenon.

On Friday, September 10th 2021, a female bear, about six years old, was found dead near Vrontero,Prespa, and specifically in the area of “Pyxos”. The Prespa National Park Management Authority and CALLISTO, two of the partners of the LIFE ARCPROM project that is implemented in the area, issued the following Press Release together with the Society of the Protection of Prespa and ARKTOUROS:… The Communication Officer of Callisto talked to the Flash TV channel about the incident.