VLADIVOSTOK, November 12. /TASS/. International wildlife experts are recommending that Russia raises hunting quotas for culling Far East brown bears, starved of food, prowling the streets and threatening folk of towns and villages over the vast territory.
Ten people are known to have been injured after brushing with bears and one person was killed in the region since the beginning of the year. Last week, a hungry animal attacked two boys aged 8 and 12 near a village shop, putting them both in hospital.
Animals failing to find enough sustenance in their own habitat are moving into local communities, says Mikhail Krechmar of the International Association for Bear Research and Management.
Availability of food for these creatures will never be steady, Krechmar told TASS. "The reason is cold coastal currents and the combination of a humid climate and extreme cold winters," he said.
Bear numbers in the Far East stood at around 5,500, he went on, noting that while the annual hunting quota was 279, only 84 licenses had been sold this year.
To deal with the danger, the expert said, license fees should be made cheaper and the hunting quota raised to 12%, or some 660 bears.