BUCHAREST, Romania — The apparent killing of a large brown bear in Romania by a member of the Liechtenstein royal family has set off a wave of anger across the southeastern European country, which officially banned trophy hunting in 2016 but allows the killing of bears deemed to be problematic. Permits to kill these bears can cost many thousands of dollars.
The killing, which took place in March, came to light this week after two environmental groups accused Prince Emanuel von und zu Liechtenstein of killing the bear, nicknamed Arthur, in a protected area of the Carpathian Mountains. Romanian police have opened a criminal investigation into Arthur’s death, with poaching one of the potential charges.
While the prince, who lives in Austria, had been granted a permit by the Romanian environment ministry to shoot a cub-rearing female bear that had been causing damage to farms, he has been accused of killing Arthur instead.
Attempts to contact the prince’s office went unanswered. Earlier in the week the office told the Agence France-Presse news agency that it didn’t know anything about what it called a “private and personal matter.”
with tensions regularly flaring up between bear populations and rural communities. Romania’s official bear population is 6,000, but on Thursday evening Mr. Barna said there were over 7,000 bears in the country.