(MTI) – Police have detained three men accused of shooting a brown bear, a protected species, in northern Hungary, a police captain said on Monday.
The two-year old male bear weighing 80 kilos was allegedly shot by the men accused of poaching in the woods outside the city of Salgotarjan near the Slovak border on May 10, Bela Ponyi of the city police told a press conference. The bear was first wounded and managed to escape but the suspects chased it with dogs the next day. It was eventually shot in the head, Ponyi added.
The suspects, two of them hunters, wanted to keep their act secret, but a house search revealed the bear’s body in preparation for taxidermy. Legal proceedings are under way against the suspects who may face prison terms.
Brown bears number about 7,000-8,000 in the Carpathians and migrate occasionally to northern Hungary from Slovakia, said Csaba Bako, a local government official, said.
Bears were witnessed in six instances in the region over the past 20 years. No bears were shot in Hungary since WWII.