Thanks to its wide variety of geography and climate, Romania is home to many protected and endangered species, including the brown bear. In fact, more than half of Europe's brown bear population lives in the country. But those bears are frequently targeted by hunters from all over the world, and the problem just keeps getting worse.
The government issues about 350 hunting licenses annually to try to "control overpopulation" among the bears. There's growing evidence, however, that the actual number of bears slaughtered for their paws, meat and fur is much higher. Some companies have even allegedly advertised Romanian hunting trips that "guarantee" bear kills.
Romania's pristine environment has allowed wildlife to prosper. Without stronger government protection, though, those animals could soon be wiped out for good.
Ask Romanias Minister for Environment and Climate Change to make the protection of the brown bear and other endangered native species her top priority.