A Wildlife Animal Rescue Centre for Romania
For years, wild animals which were found helpless and injured in Romania had no place to go, no money and no lobby. Since 2015, the Academy has sponsored the NGO Transylvanian Wildlife Project (TWP) in the development of a wild animal rescue centre and its animal missions – with success.
In 2016, biologist Alexandra Sallay-Mosoi and the TWP team began work with a veterinarian who already had experience treating injured wild animals. In the meantime, this cooperation has evolved into a protection programme
for brown bears.
Alexandra Sallay-Mosoi reports about her involvement in 2019:
“Approximately 6,000 brown bears live in the Carpathian Mountains in Romania. Originally native to extensive parts of Europe, these bears today represent Europe’s largest bear population.
Part of the population, however, are struggling with this large number of bears because they, like wild pigs, periodically damage corn or rapeseed fields or are even responsible for losses of sheep and chickens. The economic damages are often insufficiently covered. Since 2016, bear hunting has been completely prohibited, only problem bears may be removed in exceptional cases. The animals’ shyness around human settlements is in some places lost; the habitats change due to the construction of roads and massive deforestation. All of this means that bears are not welcomed everywhere. Bear opponents are afraid for their agricultural income and ultimately their existence and livelihood.
Illegal wire snares, strategically set for edible animals such as deer and wild pigs, as well as for problem bears, often become fatal for bears should they stumble into them and are not found on time and freed. Another major danger for the bears is road traffic. Accidents are becoming more frequent.
The team of the Transylvanian Wildlife Project (TWP), which is made up of biologists and veterinarian Dr. Istvan Szász, assisted and treated injured animals or freed them from wire snares last year. The coordination of these missions through the Romanian police and in cooperation with local hunter’s associations, is getting better and better, so that more animals are receiving medical treatment and can be released again at the appropriate locations.
Thanks to the Academy, the equipping of the veterinary practice could be further optimized. An operating table and an infusion pump now facilitate emergency treatments. All of the TWP colleagues are incredibly grateful, because this signalizes the increased recognition and apprecia-tion of our work. Every bear and every other wild animal, which has been helped in this way, inspires us.
We hope to further decrease the human-animal conflicts in Romania in the future by means of public education – also in school classes – prevention, training of the police, and targeted emergency help through immobilization and translocation of brown bears.”