State-protected bears damaging eastern Turkish melon farms
ERZİNCAN - Doğan News Agency | 8/25/2010 12:00:00 AM |
Bears have been damaging tons of melons in the Uluköy district of the eastern province of Erzincan, benefiting from laws that prevent people from shooting them.
Bears have been damaging tons of melons in the Uluköy district of the eastern province of Erzincan, benefiting from laws that prevent people from shooting them, Doğan news agency reported Wednesday.
“Between 10 and 15 square meters of land are damaged each day,” said Uluköy Mayor Yaşar Kocatürk, adding they expect new solutions from the government about the issue since locals are stuck between the bears and the law.
With tons of melons ruined by bears that enter farms by night, growers are angry, saying they are prevented from using guns against the animals due to possible legal penalties.
They also said they have faced these attacks for five years during every harvest season, but have been powerless to stop their entry, since all legal precautions have been ineffective.
The issue attracted headlines several years ago when then-Mayor Salih Kara shot a bear.
The penalty for hunting a bear is 18,500 Turkish Liras, a fine which is determined by the provincial department of environment and forestry.