Bear attacks spread fear, prompt protests

Data suggest no rise in attacks, despite increased reports of encounters.

A hundred people demand the regulation of bears in central Slovakia during a protest on June 15, 2022 in Banská Bystrica. (Source: TASR - Lukáš Mužla)

Michaela Kalinčiaková has lived in one of the scattered rural settlements that are part of the town of Hriňová in central Slovakia since she was a child.

While encounters with bears were not an unheard-of experience among locals when she was growing up, she says there has been a worrying change in recent years and she increasingly fears for her children’s safety.

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