Statement by Martin Balluch (VGT, Austria)
Arthur was a big bear. It is said to be the largest in Romania and maybe even in the EU.
He was 17 years old for a bear in the wild. And very healthy!
How do we know? Because Arthur has been watched and looked after for years. Namely by the nature conservation organization Agent Green, which is also campaigning against the illegal logging of the last primeval forests in the Carpathian Mountains of Romania.
Arthur lived in the Natura 2000 reserve Oituz-Ojdula northeast of Brasov, formerly Kronstadt, away from human habitation.
A bear of his size has a fixed territory, so you know where to meet him. But Arthur’s whereabouts were not only known to Agent Green.
Another organization was targeting Arthur as well. Only was not a bear-friendly one, it was a hunting trip organizer.
They wanted a big bonus from a rich Western European snob for its kill.
Prince Emanuel von und zu Liechtenstein
The plan should have been something like this:
First, a farmer complains about a bear that is causing agricultural damage to him.
In fact, the mayor of Ojdula, which is on the edge of the Carpathian forests, says that in the summer of 2020 there were some complaints about a little she-bear with cubs.
Nothing exciting, and no compensation was ever paid. At the end of January 2021, a farmer from Ojdula demanded that this she-bear be shot because she was disturbing.
To do this, he writes a handwritten letter to the responsible ministry:
Agent Green visited this farmer. When his letter was presented to him, he said that he has written it.
In the further conversation it turned out, however, that he cannot read at all.
Was it just used as an excuse to get permission to shoot?
In fact, the ministry will issue one in mid-February 2021:
Emanuel Liechtenstein, who calls himself “Prince” and comes from the royal family of the Principality of Liechtenstein, but in Austria lives in the Riegers Castle, receives this permit.
He is allowed to kill this “problem bear”, who even leads children, between March 12th and 16th, 2021.
The time has come on March 13th. Emanuel Liechtenstein shot a bear. Only it was Arthur:
Corpse of Bear Arthur
How is it possible to locate the bear and get it in front of the gun in just two days?
Very easily. I’ve been to the Southern Carpathians myself and seen how it works.
That’s not romantic at all, brave hunters don’t sit on their hide for months and wait for a moment.
There is simply fed. For this purpose, a hunting stand is placed in a clearing, which only has a small window for shooting and is otherwise completely closed. It looks like this:
Dead pigs are chained to the ground at a safe shooting distance. At dusk, bears appear and eat from them.
Now you can shoot it comfortably!
It must have been similar with Arthur.
He was “mistaken” for a little she-bear with a cub.
Emanuel Liechtenstein had the dead Arthur assessed as a trophy according to the standards of the international hunting organization CIC:
Arthur received 592.80 out of 600 CIC points. Never before has such a high score been recorded.
The proud shooter has him stuffed and waits for the delivery in his Castle. But that is likely to be delayed. Agent Green, together with the VGT, brought the case to the public. Now the public prosecutor’s office in Romania is investigating and Arthur’s body will hopefully be confiscated.
For days, Mr. Liechtenstein was not available to the media. Then he announced that everything had turned out right.
Not at all. The opposite is the case.
Trophy hunting is a real canker sore in nature conservation.
The only thing we can do about it in Austria is to stop trophy hunting, to obtain bans and to prohibit the importation of hunting trophies into Austria as a matter of principle. We have set up a petition for this purpose: https://vgt.at/trophaenjagd
And I mean…Bear hunting is actually forbidden in Romania, but there are exemptions for “problem bears” that chronically come too close to humans or their livestock.
Actually, the local hunters should take care of killing the problem bears.
But why did a prince from Austria get permission to shoot a “problem bear” in Romania?
Because rich foreigners can buy a shooting license with money.
For example, Prince Emanuel.
I would have liked it the other way around: Bear kills problem princes.
To prevent this from happening, however, the prince has a few bodyguards around him, especially when as a bear hunter he wants to save poor, defenseless villagers in Romania who do not want to be saved by him at all.
Arthur was considered a national pride by many and is now probably hanging in Mister Emanuel von Liechtenstein’s “good” booth
You can buy anything with money….
My best regards to all, Venus