Liptovska Kokava, July 3 (TASR) – A working group set up by Environment Minister Laszlo Solymos (Most-Hid) has concluded its investigation into the shooting of a female bear called Ingrid in Liptovska Kokava (Zilina region) in early June and has identified several errors relating to the case, TASR learnt on Monday.
The police-ordered shooting of the bear, which was allegedly threatening the inhabitants of villages in Liptovsky Mikulas district, stirred up quite a commotion among the public last month. Ingrid and her two cubs used to come regularly to the villages in order to forage from rubbish bins. Many experts claimed that her shooting wasn’t necessary, however.
Solymos described the shooting as an unfortunate incident and ordered a six-member working group to carry out an investigation into the matter.
The group, which consisted of representatives of the Environment Ministry, State Forestry of the Tatra National Park (TANAP), the academic community and the third sector, looked through relevant documentation, witness testimonies and available video footage. It identified three main errors. The first concerned Ingrid’s release into the wild after she was initially caught and her cubs removed. According to the experts, it was highly probable that she would return to the village to look for her offspring. The second error was that there wasn’t a vet present when action was taken. The group identified a lack of communication between the people in charge and the public as the third shortcoming.
On the other hand, the working group stressed that the bear did represent a threat to the public, so it was impossible to let it continue to roam near Liptovsky Mikulas.
Finally, the experts made several recommendations aimed at preventing similar sit
uations in the future. These include mainly addressing poor waste management in the areas concerned and improving the knowledge of mayors and the public when it comes to reducing to a minimum the risks of encounters with bears.
The environment minister added that he’s ordered inspections into whether or not the law on waste is being observed in areas with high numbers of bears.