The population of Kamchatkan brown bears is growing. According to Vsevolod Voropanov, the chief hunting specialist of Kamchatka's Regional Hunting Administration, a recent census conducted from an airplane revealed that there were about 10,800 bears in this Far Eastern territory, contrary to calculations that said there were only 6,500.
Of the 10,000-odd bears, 600 inhabit the Kronotsky reserve and some 1,000 the Yuzhno-Kamchatsky game reserve.
It was also reported that the bear population is getting younger, thanks to the fact that there are less large he-bears and more she-bears with cubs. According to Voropanov, a he-bear is not a breeder and moreover often acts as a cannibal, attacking she-bears and cubs.
Over the autumn hunting season, the local authorities issued 282 bear hunting licenses, including 84 permitting hunting tours with the participation of foreigners. 8 cases of poaching were revealed. 6 bears were killed on force-shooting grounds /aggressor bears who posed a threat to people or to agriculture/.
In the 2003 hunting season, the authorities will issue 550 bear hunting licenses /50% for the spring and 50% for the autumn season/--100 licenses more than the number issued in 2002.
In Bolivia, at least seven people were killed at El Alto State University on Tuesday, March 3. The tragedy took place during a student meeting on the fifth floor of the building