Bear Injures 80-Year-Old Woman As Slovenia Resumes Wildlife Cull

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A bear injured an 80-year-old woman on Saturday in central Slovenia, two days after the parliament adopted extraordinary measures to control the growing bear and wolf population.

The attack took place early Saturday on the outskirts of Vrh, a village 20 kilometres (12 miles) south of the capital Ljubljana, civil protection authorities said, adding the victim had been hospitalised but was not in a critical condition.

News website 24ur.com reported the 80-year-old woman suffered only light injuries.

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With over half of the central European country’s territory covered by forests, regular culling has kept the numbers of bears and wolves under control.

But a court froze this year’s planned measures after environmentalists complained, demanding different ways to manage the populations.

The court intervention and an increase of attacks on cattle outraged farmers, pushing parliament to greenlight last Thursday an extraordinary bill to carry out the culling of 200 bears and 11 wolves this year.

“There are limits to everything, even environmental concerns. But once there are human victims, courts and other organisations remain silent,” Prime Minister Marjan Sarec tweeted on Saturday in a clear reference to environmentalists.

Although the bear population has almost doubled over the last decade — with 1,000 estimated to live in the wild — incidents with humans occur rarely and there have been no fatalities for more than 10 years.

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