Estonian naturalists honour brown bear as animal of year

In Estonia, where it is allowed to hunt 87 bears per year, the Estonian Naturalists’ Society has selected the brown bear as the animal of the year, public broadcaster ERR reports.
The organisation noted in a statement this week that the number of bears in Estonia has risen over the last 15 years and the condition of their population is considered as being good.
«At the same time, the large number means that contact between man and bear is also becoming more common. That is why we need to understand the importance of these large carnivores in our nature and their way of life», the Estonian Naturalists’ Society cautioned.
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During the year 2022, the Estonian Naturalists’ Society plans to educate people to increase their knowledge about bears and their habits. It is planned to hold bear-themed discussion evenings, trips to see bears, as well as a photography competition. Those interested will have to wait for their first rendezvous with the brown bear until the Year of the Bear will be officially opened at Tallinn Zoo on March 23, when they will hopefully be awake from their winter sleep, ERR reports.