Romanian authorities say two Ukrainian tourists who were injured when they encountered a bear near the popular Peles Castle in southern Romania were not attacked by the animal.
Initial reports from Prahova Emergency Situations said the female bear mauled the tourists on Saturday evening after they got too close to her cubs.
However, they later said the two tourists sustained injuries running away from the bear. They jumped over a fence and hurt themselves.
A 28-year-old man suffered injuries to his arm and leg. A 32-year-old woman needed to be treated for a leg injury, News.ro reported.
„Sinaia mayor Vlad Oprea telephoned the tourists. They explained that they weren’t attacked by the bear. They got frightened and were injured trying to jumo over a fence,” local town official Marian Panait told Agerpres.
Local authorities identified the animal that attacked the two tourists and a vet was expected to tranquilize her. She will be relocated with her two cubs later Saturday, officials said earlier
Marian Panait said the creature was identified after someone posted a picture of the bear near the Peles Castle.
The tourists were treated by medics and transported to the Prahova County Hospital.
Romania banned bear hunting in 2016. There are an estimated 6,000 brown bears in Romania, more than any other country in Europe apart from Russia.
Bears have left their natural habitat in recent years as forests have disappeared. The animals are sometime sighted in mountain villages and resorts or near forests searching for food.
Hunting groups want the ban overturned. But animal rights groups fear that overturning the ban will give the green light to large hunting parties and uncontrolled culling of the animals.