A prince from Liechtenstein was accused of poaching one of Europe's largest brown bears during a hunting trip in Romania

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European brown bear
A European brown bear. Arterra/Universal Images Group/Getty Images
  • A prince from Liechtenstein has been accused of poaching a large brown bear in Romania.

  • Environmental agencies have said the prince was supposed to kill a bear that was harming villages instead.

  • Romanian authorities are investigating the incident.

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A prince from Liechtenstein has been accused of poaching one of Europe's largest brown bears during a hunting excursion in Romania.

Environmental agencies have accused Prince Emanuel von und zu Liechtenstein of killing the bear, a 17-year-old known as Arthur by locals, during a four-day hunt for a young female bear that had been causing damage to farms, according to the Guardian.

The agencies said the 17-year-old bear was killed in a protected area of the Carpathian Mountains.

"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," Gabriel Paun, the president of Agent Green, told The Guardian, adding that he believed the prince's goal was to "take home the biggest trophy."

Romanian authorities are investigating allegations that the hunt for the 17-year-old bear was not licensed and that some people involved did not have weapon permits, CNN reported, citing its Spanish TV affiliate, Antena 3.

The Associated Press reported that the prince had been granted a four-day hunting permit, and that on March 13 he paid $8,400 (€7,000) to have a 17-year-old brown bear harvested. It's unclear if the permit was tied to a specific bear.

Brown bears are a protected species in Romania and trophy hunting is outlawed, but the environment minister can grant exceptions if bears are causing damage to properties or causing harm to residents, The Guardian reported.

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