Albanian officials have released a report that they have had to go out of their way to stop people from selling a 3-month old bear cub that was put up on the internet.
Ana Kekezi, environmental ministry spokeswoman, said on Tuesday that a shepherd found a bear 20 miles east of the capital. The bear was stuck in some rocks in the Shen Meri village.
The shepherd then put the animal up on sale online, hoping to make a quick buck for his find. Unfortunately for him, it is not legal to sell bears on the internet all willy-nilly.
He was detained, fined and then released for his actions.
The bear was named Rei. Rei has been taken to a zoo park so that experts can determine whether or not it will be safe for him to return to the wild or whether it would be best to place him in a sanctuary.
Albania does not have its own sanctuary, while it does cooperate with other sanctuaries in Kosovo, Germany, Greece, Italy and Bulgaria. They are working towards building one of their own near the Dajti Mountain, close to Tirana.
From Fox News:
Some 50 caged bears are used by restaurants, resorts and individuals as lures to attract people as customers, or to take a picture, or charge admission at a time when the wild bear population, estimated at 100-150, has been declining. Last year 16 rescued brown bears were taken to sanctuaries in Kosovo, Germany, Greece, Italy and Bulgaria. Albania does not have a sanctuary and the government is working to raise funds to start building one, near the Dajti Mountain, close to Tirana, for the remaining captive ones. Authorities also say they are working to prepare legislation to make it a crime to take a bear from the wild.