A Liechtenstein prince has been accused of killing a popular brown bear Arthur – who could have been the biggest in Europe – sparking outrage.
Authorities in Romania are investigating whether Prince Emanuel von und zu Liechtenstein allegedly shot Arthur, 17, last March, on a hunting expedition.
Prosecutors reportedly allege the bear’s killing was not licensed and some of those involved did not have weapons permits.
The prince has now come under fire with the website of the family’s Riegersburg Castle flooded with criticism, and it is reported that TripAdvisor has temporarily stopped reviews of the castle.
The Romanian NGO Agent Green has alleged that Arthur was shot in a protected area of the Carpathian Mountains by the 32-year-old prince, who is the nephew of the reigning prince of the principality, Hans-Adam ll.
It claims that the prince was given a permit from the Ministry of the Environment to shoot a young female bear who had been attacking farms.
“But in reality, the prince did not kill the problem bear, but a male that lived deep in the woods and had never come close to localities,” the NGO claims.
“The bear named Arthur has been observed for many years by the Agent Green ranger in the area and was known as a wild specimen not accustomed to the man’s presence and the food sources he offered.”
Gabriel Paun, the president of Agent Green, said that Arthur was the largest bear observed in Romania, and probably the largest living in the European Union.
“I wonder how the prince could confuse a female bear coming to the village with the largest male that existed in the depths of the forest,” Paun reportedly said.
Brown bears are a protected species under international and Romania outlawed trophy hunting in 2016.