Emil the bear saved from selfies
Emil, a two-year-old male bear, used to roam the Saint Ana Lake area of Romania looking for food. He became a tourist attraction and was constantly harassed by people taking selfies with him.
Tourists would get close to Emil to take selfies, and shout and run after him – this was very distressing for Emil.
A week before his rescue, in desperation, he ended up hurting a tourist who tried to take a selfie with him. The authorities then threatened to shoot Emil, unless the sanctuary took him in.
When our partners Asociatia Milioane de Prieteni (AMP) arrived at the lake, Emil was being harassed by a large group of tourists filming and taking photos of him. The audience only left after the police intervened.
Cristina Lapis, AMP’s president, says “People should understand that the bear is a wild animal. I am sure that people love the bears, so they want to take a selfie, not because they are mean. But we should think, because we can destroy the life of a wild animal, forever.”
The AMP team tranquilised Emil and transported him to the sanctuary. When he woke up he looked friendly, but was confused about where he was.
Several months on, Emil is now out of quarantine and has settled into life in his new sanctuary home. He can live peacefully, away from pushy tourists.
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