It is common practice for the Park rangers to adopt the so called “Active Discouraging procedure” against animals getting close to human agglomerates inside the park. This procedure includes shooting the animal with gum bullets and frightening it with firecrackers.
The Marsican bear Amarena became famous in Italy and abroad after a video of her went viral, showing her peacefully walking across San Sebastiano dei Marsi – Bisegna (Italy), a village inside the Abruzzo National Park.
This practice was recently applied against Amarena too. The inhabitants of Bisegna, who know well Amarena and witnessed the chase, were shocked and scared and some children were crying.
The former Mayor of Bisegna, Antonio Mercuri, is very concerned: “We always had bears coming to town and there was never a problem. These are young females who get chased away by males when there is scarcity of food and have no other chance but getting closer to suburbs in search of food. If we are so aggressive, this could become dangerous to people and I find it completely unnecessary.”
Many zoologists have already criticized these ineffective methods to manage wild animals which approach villages. “Best would be to understand why they do it and to prevent it. The Park was affected by a serious drought in 2017 and was devastated, in August 17, by a massive wildfire which wiped out 3000 hectares of Park. Authorities should be given specific directives to properly support and help the affected animals, not being left to use strategies as hurting, frightening and even shooting them, when they, desperate, come closer to humans in search of food.”
WE URGE THE AUTHORITIES TO IMMEDIATELY SUSPEND AGGRESSIVE METHODS INCLUDING GUM BULLETS, STONES AND FIRECRACKERS.
WE REQUEST THE ITALIAN MINISTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT, MR GALLETTI, TO DRAW A SPECIFIC PLAN WHICH WOULD GUARANTEE SUFFICIENT FOOD FOR THE 50 LAST MARSICAN BEARS IN THE PARK AND HELP THEM OVERCOME THE LACK OF FOOD DUE TO CLIMATE CHANGE AND HUMAN INTERVENTION OR NEGLIGENCE. SCIENTISTS SUGGEST TO DEVELOP FRUIT PLANTATIONS, TO EXPAND SUITABLE LAND AND GUARANTEE BEARS, IN A NATURAL WAY, THE NECESSARY FOOD TO SURVIVE.
The Marsican bear is a unique small sized species, not aggressive.
This is the season where bears eat to store the necessary extra fat, in order to be able to hibernate and survive the rigid Apennine winter. Discouraging this process means killing the bear.