Even the most optimistic animal lover couldn't have seen this coming. For decades, Romania had been sending all the opposite signals, steadily ratcheting up its allowable quota for brown bear kills in the country.
As recently as 2014, the government actually raised the number of bears that could be killed to 550 annually - two-thirds more than the previous year. By 2016, Romania's annual kill allowance stood at 550 bears, 600 wolves and 500 big cats.
Or, as the journal ZME Science puts it, "That's equivalent to killing the entire brown bear population in Slovenia, the population of wolves living in France, Norway, and Sweden, and four Poland-worths of lynxes - in one country, in a single year."