Residents in Romanian mountain towns have said rampant bears are making their lives a misery.

The apex predators are running riot around the Carpathian mountains, terrifying villagers.

Figures show the rate of bear attacks tripled between 2017 and 2019 with more than 100 people injured.

One of the reasons for the rise is a ban on bear hunting enforced in 2016 which meant bears ‘lost their fear against humans’.

They also appear to have learnt that towns are rich sources of food, and are often seen rifling through bins.

A Transylvania mum-of-three said a bear rampaged through her garden and flipped the table where she and her husband were playing cards.

Monica, 49, told the Times: ‘Every day it’s the same shit.

‘The bears are everywhere. Sometimes we have to call the riot police in the mornings to scare them away so our children can go to school.’

Vali Cristea is a riot police officer in the central Romanian city of Brașov where he carries out bear patrols to keep people safe.

He said: ‘When I started 20 years ago, it was very rare to see a bear. Now I see them about three or four times in a 12-hour shift.’

Other townsfolk said they’re too scared to walk outside at night and now drive themselves even the smallest distances.

People can obtain a licence to legally shoot a ‘problem’ bear, but the process for getting it is said to be extremely bureaucratic, with each application being judged by a committee of stakeholders representing six separate institutions.

Romania is the bear capital of Europe. The last count in 2016, the year of the ban, found there were at least 6,000 brown bears roaming the Carpathian mountains, which covers much of the country.

But it’s believed the true number could be double.

A new census was launched in August which sees 400 experts and volunteers combing the Romanian wilderness for signs of the powerful animals.

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