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Karajkov, Risto


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International Herald Tribune - France | 19/03/2008

A bear baby-boom in Macedonia and Slovenia

Risto Karajkov underlines the difficulties of managing a booming bear population in Macedonia and Slovenia. "Over the last few years the number of bears has increased in the western, mountainous part of Macedonia. ... Some of the roughly 300 bears in Macedonia are likely migrants - or more precisely refugees - from Bosnia. They fled the high Bosnian mountains in the 1990s, frightened away by the explosions and violence of war. Many headed north, toward Slovenia, but some went south [toward Macedonia]. ... Slovenia, ... has in the last few years become a big exporter of bears to other EU countries, including Austria, Italy and France. Its bear population had exceeded 500 and was becoming a problem - bears need a lot of space. When they start getting too close to villages, things can get risky. The European Commission also had a problem with the annual culls that the Slovenian government was ordering."

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