An adult female bear was freed from an illegal trap after the successful collaboration of Greek and Albanian authorities and wildlife organizations, it was reported on Thursday.
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 feeding on nearby roots and leaves, helping it stay hudrated.
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 actually freed on Wednesday.
To free and take care of the animal the following authorities and organizations coordinated effectively: the Thessaloniki-based Environmental Organization 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 organizations Euronatur and MES also participate in the ongoing TBB project.
The bear was later fiited with a special GPS/GSM collar by CALLISTO specialists, which will provide useful data for the animal’s monitoring and protection. It was additionally reported that this was the first time such a collar is fitted onto a bear in Albania.