Published on April 12th, 2009 | by Jake Richardson


70 Bears to Be Killed in Slovenia

euro bear

The Slovenian Environment Ministry has approved a wild bear kill of 70 animals. The country has between 430 and 480 bears according to one estimate.


Some environmentalists put the number slightly lower. In 2008 the Environment Ministry approved a kill of 75, and in 2007 it was 100. In 2006 it was also 100. That will make 345 wild bears killed in the last four years.  The number of cubs born each year is estimated at 60-90.
(Brown bears in Slovenia are a protected species.)

For 2009, 70 out of 430 bears killed will make an annual mortality rate of 16% and 480 bears is 14%. However, it was reported on the site for Radio Free Europe that the international standard for maintaining stability is only 10%, ” According to international norms, 10 percent of the bear population can be hunted annually to maintain a healthy stock.” If that percentage is correct, only 43 or 48 bears should be available for culling. So why were 100 bears approved for killing in 2007 and in 2006, a rate of at least 20 percent?

The number of bears killed due to government quotas is not the whole of the bear mortality rate. Each year 20-40 are killed when they are hit by cars and trains. A 2006 report from the World Wildlife Fund noted a dramatic difference in the number of government approved bear kills from the time that Slovenia joined the European Union. In 2001 a 59 bear kill was authorized, and in 2002 the number was 116. The overall bear population had remained the same, but the kill number was nearly doubled. That year the International Association for Bear Research and Management wrote a letter to the Slovenian government in which they stated, “We are very concerned that the Slovenian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food has allowed a harvest that is almost three times the sustainable level based on best available data.”

Tags: , , , , ,

About the Author

Hello, I have been writing online for some time, and enjoy the outdoors. If you like, you can follow me on Google Plus.

32 Responses to 70 Bears to Be Killed in Slovenia

  1. am says:

    If bears could only communicate, would they like to have a say?

  2. Leanne says:

    Why??? What is to be gained from culling these beautiful bears…or any other creatures for that matter…OMG if the four legged animals of this earth were to be given a gun…I think we would be in big trouble!!!!!MMMMM should make us all think!!!!

  3. wow homes says:

    Why??? What is to be gained from culling these beautiful bears…or any other creatures for that matter…OMG if the four legged animals of this earth were to be given a gun…I think we would be in big trouble!!!!!MMMMM should make us all think!!!

  4. matej says:

    Why? You would not ask that if u lived here. Du you know the size of Slovenia? There are 500 bears on such a small area. Every year there are a a couple of people killed by a brown bear. I wonder if you would think like that if you saw a bear on the street a couple of metres from your front door. I also don’t like to see this beutiful animals beeing killed but this is yust something that has to be done.

  5. John says:

    “Every year there are a a couple of people killed by a brown bear.”

    This statement is not true at all. And even in the extremely rare case of a bear attacking a human, it is usually because the person surprised the bear, or the bear is a female with cubs and the person gets too close.

    Bears have killed only 3 people in Slovenia in the last 45 years.

  6. matej says:

    ok mayby i am wrong about the kills, but at least 3 attacks which reasulted in heavy mutilation happened in 60 km radius from my home. And i don’t need to hear that they are not agressive. But with the numbers of the bears attacks are in inevitable. And John if u quouted an article at least read it… You will se how serious is the situation. Would u be so concerned about the bear if it would be your children who face them in the way to school?

  7. matej says:

    Just another quote from the article that says it all: “A bear looks so lovely to those living in towns, but if you face one almost every day you begin to hate it,” Mohoric said.

  8. John says:

    That’s funny. There aren’t any bears facing children on the way to school!

    And no one has to face a bear every day.

    Bears DON’T kill humans, unless the humans are doing something wrong.

    Bear education is what is sorely lacking in these situations.

  9. Frank says:

    I live in Slovenia and number of incidents with those beautiful animals rise. Farmers and their animals suffer most. We could see many times very bloody pictures in newspapers. Domestic animals so far. Sheep, goats, horses, cattle so far. Government pays damage to the farmers.

    The bear population is growing and bears have no natural predators. Bears at age 3-4 years wants to find their new territory and could came into villages and many people in rural areas saw them right beside their homes.

    Estimated number of bears vary a lot. From 400 to 800. Depends who make this estimation 🙂 So killing about 100 bears/year is necessary to keep the population strong and under control.
    This shouldn’t be political issue!

  10. matej says:

    “The situation is so critical that in some villages kids need a bus to take them to school only a kilometre or so away because they run into a bear virtually every day,” Maksimilijan Mohoric, state secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture, told Reuters. Is he lying? And educate me.. what does a child need to do when he faces a 400kg mother bear when he is going to school? Btw have u ever even seen a bear?

  11. John says:

    The man you are quoting is a government official who is pro-bear hunting! Of course he is going to say things like that. Many in the parliament even are hunters! They WANT to kill bears for the excitement. They enjoy it. The old Romanian dictator is said to have shot and killed over 20 bears in one day, for the FUN of it!

    “”Our goal is to halve the number of bears over the next five to 10 years,” Mohoric said. ”

    And even some hunters are refusing to kill the bears.

    “But hunters refused to kill the bears, saying the quota could seriously endanger their survival in Slovenia’s wooded regions. ”

    Also even a Slovenian man who was attacked by a bear, in one of the extremely rare cases, said he does NOT want bears to be killed!

    “GRUDEN (through translator): I don’t suggest hunters kill bears. I just think we have to make a game reserve for them”.

    You are also quoting a statement for a government official that is 9 years old!

    You don’t happen to be an embarrassed Slovenian who can’t stand to hear the truth, do you?

    Yes, I have seen bears in the wild. Which proves nothing.

  12. Monica says:

    It appears there aren’t any children facing 1,000 pound bears. (lolz)

    You are just trying to scare people by creating a false, imaginary scenario.

    There are only about 2 bear attacks per year in Slovenia, and they weren’t children.

    “In the past few years Slovenia has registered about two bear attacks on humans per year”

  13. matej says:

    ok forget the goverment official.. the statemant he made “The situation is so critical that in some villages kids need a bus to take them to school only a kilometre or so away because they run into a bear virtually every day,” was reffering to a village about 10 miles from my home. The fact is that bears were coming out of the wood into human populated areas. and once again i am not against bears, i don’t hate them and i think they are amazing animals. but when it comes to my life or some other human i think there should be no choice. and about endangerig their survival.. lol. there are simpli to many of them.. thats why there is not enough food for them in the woods and they have to look in populated areas. is hunters kill some of them we actualy make them a favor in some way. Slovenian woods are simply not big enough for such large number of bears. (Slovenia is slightly larger than the state of New Jersey with a total area of 20273 sq km (7827 sq mi))

  14. John says:

    Ok. How about using some cooperation to see if it is possible over the long term to start buying land where the bears are, and moving some of the people to other areas, and using population control for the humans too?

    How about using more education of the public so they don’t startle bears, and keep their distance?

    New Jersey in 2005 had about 1600 black bears in the wild.

    So if Slovenia is slightly larger, and has far less bears, why continue killing them at such a rate?

    Perhaps New Jersey and Slovenia can cooperate.

    Also Scotland is trying to investigate re-introducing bears, so perhaps they can have some of yours.

  15. matej says:

    we already send a couple of bears to france (and spain i think).. peasent killed them i think. about education.. all slovenian heard all of it.. it is all good when you encounter a male bear.. but if u encounter female with cubs u have nothing u can do. almost all attacks happen this way. and about New Jersey. Black bears are a lot smaller.. less dangerous and need smaller habitat. and btw brown bear is protected in slovenia and almost a national icon so we have no intenton to kill to make them extinct. I don’t wish to argue about thist no more. It makes me look lika a blood loving – hunter lover (which i am not) but if this is your reality this is the only solution. i reather see a dead bear than a dead friend. hope u understand

  16. John says:

    I understand what you are saying.

    There must be solutions.

    One is to move the bears to other parts of Slovenia or have some of the people move to other parts.

    Thanks for your comments.

  17. John says:

    Maybe someday the Slovenian bears will be relocated to Croatia, if Croatia can handle them.

  18. Leslie says:

    New Jersey has 8 million people and 1500 bears, not Slovenia’s 2 million people and 450 bears.

  19. matej says: … not in slovenia but just that u see how agressive bears can be. and yes i know it was female with cubs but this encouters happen if there is not enough food for all the bears in the wood. Btw bear has no natural predators so it up to us to keep “accapteble” number of bear population. And like i said before. We already tried to export them to other countries like france and spain… U could all petiton your goverments to take a few.. i am certain slovenians would’t mind

  20. Leslie says:

    The bear diet is 75% vegetarian. Bears are only aggressive if they have been scared, or are defending their cubs, or territory. Also, bears are only a problem because some humans feed them or leave their garbage out.

  21. Itsme says:

    OK, so if there really is a serious bear problem in Slovania…Instead of killing them and reducing the brown bear gene pool, why not relocate them? If you dont want your bears dont kill them, move them somewhere else. Hell move them all. But killing them is bad for future sustainability of the species.

  22. David Howe says:

    What is the purpose of this?

    What is the point, in doing this to any animal.

    Infact, they’re not the animals.

    We are.

    We humans, who have been gifted with being the greatest species on this earth.

    and also, the most pathetic species.

    these bears, are yet another victim of humanity’s greed.

    I’m not an activist. I don’t go out looking for cruelty to animals, but when I see it, I can’t help but be reminded of how pathetic some F*****S actually are.

    and as for Slevia, I hope this country gets fucking screwed.

  23. Terry says:

    Matej, you seem to be of the mindset that humans are somehow more important than all other life.
    If you’re concerned about your children being attacked by bears, move away from the bears’ natural habitat.
    We do not have the right to just murder anyone who inconveniences us. We, as a species, do to all other species what we have done to ourselves throughout history. “I want this land. You live here. Therefore, you die.” Why can’t it be “I want this land, but you already live here, so I’ll move on and find somewhere else.”?
    Humans. They truly are the cancer of Earth.

  24. Amadeus says:

    Matej i completely agree with you. I like how everyone here is saying how horrible it is and saying that it shouldnt happen and such and yet we have someone who LIVES in the area where this is going on and says it needs to be done. People who say that bears only attack when provoked have never been attacked by a bear, or charged by one. Hell me and my friend had a grizzly charge us when we were sitting in his truck.

    and David Howe, your an idiot. First off if your going to say that you hope a country gets “fucking screwed” you can spell the name right. Get off your high and mighty throne.

    Terry, i love when people do what you do, the good ol’ “war is a human invention” talk. Animals kill each other ALL the time to take land. Hell, if a male bear walks into the territory of another one is going to die. Does that mean that that bear is also “the cancer of the earth”?

  25. Amadeus says:

    Matej i completely agree with what you are saying. Everyone here is saying how horrible it is from their nice and comfortable houses and apartments and yet we have someone telling us who LIVES where this is happening and saying it needs to be done.

    David Howe, if your going to say “i hope this country gets fucking screwed” you can atleast spell the name of the country right. Fucking ignorant bigots, you want a cancer of the world terry thats it right there, people who think that the only right way is there way.

  26. richard lyon says:

    I live in a town, Juneau, Alaska that has plenty of human -bear interaction. The bears have unlimited access to wild food and habitat but fairly often will enter people’s homes to get into stored food or freezers. My own children have encountered bears on their way to school, only a few blocks from our home.I have had to run off bears with gun shots, and pepper-spray, thrown rocks, and even an axe handle. My state Game Department has euthanized or relocated many bears from town. If bears and people can not co-exist in peace then the solution is not to make special allowances for bears. My children are worth more than any animal. Usually local authorities are most in touch with local issues.
    Let the government of Slovenia do it’s job and protect it’s people.

  27. Matjaz says:

    To David Howe

    Quite sad to read you rather scary – and at the same time pathetic – entry. Bears are magnificent animals and I am sure that most Slovenians (and countless others who don’t have the privilege to live with them) would love to have as many as possible living in their country in a safe co-existance. As for Itsme’s suggestion – Slovenians in fact do run a relocation program – bears being donated to France and Spain, in an attempt to reintroduce them to habitats they once inhabited. Sadly, as far as I know, most of them have been killed by local farmers (see e.g.,1518,434014,00.html).

    While there surely must be a space for legitimate discussion on what should be the share of culled bear population, your sad and militant statements reflect poorly on you rather than doing anything against perceived cruelty against animals. I can just hope some poor soul doesn’t get in your way in local organic shop when they run out of your favorite 100% nature made bee honey, so selfishly stolen away from natural bear population (alas) only existing in a handful of European countries that you are so so at ease

  28. Leslie says:

    Killing bears in large numbers does NOT reduce any incidents of them coming into towns looking for food.

    Research has backed this fact up. The reason they come in there is that they have been most likely fed by someone at some time, or they learned to find leftover food from campers.

    If you don’t like bears, then move away from them. We are now too much in their territory, and we have almost killed all of them by taking away their space.

    They need their own space.

    I repeated bear culls DO NOT reduce bear incidents. Education does that mainly.

    In Yosemite it was education of the public that reduced bear incidents by over 50%..and they don’t kill 24% of their bears every year, year after year.

    Yosemite gets 3.5 million visitors per year, in a space smaller than Slovenia.

  29. Eye for an eye. 70 bears? Sure but bears get to maul 70 children first

  30. John S says:

    >Bears have killed only 3 people in Slovenia in the last 45 years.

    Don’t you think that local population avoids the bears? And going to forest? Instead of enjoying the nature, people rather stay on the safe side. I can say this for myself and almost all people I know.

    And you statistic doesn’t take into account the people whose faces and body were disfigured.

  31. Pingback: Livestock-Eating Bear Popular on Facebook | Care2 Healthy & Green Living

  32. Jill says:

    I have one word to say “WRONG!!!!”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top ↑