Greek, Albanian organisations save trapped bear after effective cooperation


An adult female bear was freed from an illegal trap after the successful collaboration of Greek and Albanian authorities and wildlife organisations on Wednesday.

Weighing approximately 90kg and aged 5, the bear managed to survive deep in the woods for an entire week, caught in the grip of a steel wire noose, a known illegal trap usually installed by poachers.

Although unable to move and fend for itself, it is believed that the bear survived by feeding on nearby roots and leaves, helping it stay hydrated.

The incident and the ensuing cooperation of the two countries' authorities took place near the Albanian town of Pogradec, north of the Prespes Lakes region. The bear was freed on Wednesday.

To free and take care of the animals, the following authorities and organisations coordinated effectively: the Thessaloniki-based Environmental Organisation for Wildlife & Nature CALLISTO, the Protection & Preservation of Natural Environment in Albania (PPNEA), the Regional Administration of Protected Areas (RAPA Korca) and the Albanian Wildlife Rescue Team (AWRT).

CALLISTO and PPNEA have been working together over the last two years in the context of the Tripoint Brown Bear (TBB) project for the conservation of the brown bear and its habitats in the intra-border region of Greece, Albania and the Republic of North Macedonia.

The environmental organisations Euronatur and MES also participate in the ongoing TBB project.

The bear was later fitted with a special GPS/GSM collar by CALLISTO specialists, providing valuable data for the animal's monitoring and protection. It was also reported that this was the first time such a collar was fitted onto a bear in Albania.

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