Saturday, March 02, 2024
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Bears in the media

Bears in the media

In recent years, especially between May and September, the media has been full of stories (see the enclosed facsimile of an article in Trud Daily, dated June 16th, 2009) describing dramatic clashes between man and bear, in which the master of the mountains is invariably portrayed as the enemy, a ruthless attacker and potential killer. We often hear or read about ‘man-eating bears’ killed because of the damages they had caused to humans, even though in actual fact, a man-eating bear is an extremely rare phenomenon. This is largely due to the ignorance of ordinary people about the ways to protect themselves from the animal, as well as about the compensation mechanisms available to victims of bear attacks.

The media, just like society as a whole, seem to purposefully perpetuate the myth of the scary predator that lurks in the woods, stalking and attacking defenseless humans. There is scarcely a grain of truth in all this. It is of vital importance for people’s safety, for the safety and security of their property, and for the protection of the species and wildlife as a whole, to strive conscientiously for dispelling that malicious myth and for presenting a truthful image of the brown bear to the public at large. With its impressive size, exceptional intelligence and its deservedly central place in our folklore, the brown bear is the most attractive large mammal in the Bulgarian lands. Not accidentally, Granny Bear is a beloved folk tale character. In many areas around the country, St. Andrew’s Day is marked as Bear Day.

The brown bear is the most compelling symbol of Bulgarian wildlife. A symbol that should become an attractive popular image capable of winning people's sympathies and affection, one that would reap benefits for the local and national economy through the development and promotion of specialized services allowing for the animal to be observed and studied in the wild.

It is necessary for the print and electronic media to publish and broadcast news stories that would inform the local communities living in areas with a viable bear population of the basic facts and essential rules of cohabitation between man and bear in the 21st century, in order for the right kind of modern, positive, non-antagonistic attitudes to be cultivated among the general public. We should learn, for instance, that the extant brown bear population can, and should, be used to create a positive image for Bulgaria. A stable bear population and well-preserved wildlife provide an invaluable resource for sustainable development and for improving the well-being of local communities.

The ‘Bears in the Media’ section of this website aims to showcase published and broadcast material in parallel with accurate and useful information regarding brown bears. In that manner, we would like to help everyone willing to obtain the kind of knowledge that is so vital for the well-being of humans and wildlife at the same time, enabling our readers to make an informed judgment about reality and their own behavior as a civilized, forward-looking member of a European society.



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