Brown bear freed from snare trap

In Albania, a female bear has been freed alive after being caught for week in a snare trap. The joint rescue operation is an excellent example of successful cross-border cooperation between Albanian and Greek conservationists.

brown bear in snare trap in Albania

The brown bear was caught in the snare trap for several days.

bear conservationists are discussing

The three bear conservationists Ariel Vasili, Bledi Hoxha and Yannis Tsaknakis (from left to right) discuss the procedure for the rescue operation.


It almost seemed like a Christmas miracle: on 26 December, conservationists from several Albanian and Greek organisations succeeded in freeing a female bear that had been caught in a snare trap north of the Prespa Lakes region. The animal was probably able to survive for so long because it fed on roots and leaves in its immediate vicinity. The poachers who set the illegal snare trap are being sought.

Our partners from Albania have been working effectively with the authorities to free and care for the bear that had drawn attention to itself by its distress calls from the undergrowth.  Mention must also be made of the excellent support from our Greek colleagues who have had many years of expertise in this field. The cross-border Tripoint Brown Bear (TBB) project has been running for two years and involves EuroNatur, the Italian Fondazione Capellino and nature conservation organisations from Albania, Greece and North Macedonia. The happy end to this rescue operation is a well-deserved reward for them as this type of operation had been prepared for thoroughly in several workshops.

The female bear was fitted with a GPS transmitter after being rescued, the first to be tagged as part of the TBB project. The bear conservationists want to use the movement data to find out more about the behaviour of these large carnivores in the region. The brown bear retreated to the mountains after her rescue and appears to be in good health.

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