A pack of dogs mauled a 43-year-old woman in Bucharest, District 6. The woman was jogging in a park by the lake when the dogs attacked and killed her. The sad coincidence is that the same woman, jogging in the same place, was also attacked by dogs last year. At that moment, other persons in the park helped her escape with severe wounds, but alive. This time, the only man passing by saw the scene too late, and the jogger died.
Bucharest was once known as the “city of stray dogs’. Packs of dogs could be seen in plain daylight everywhere in the city, and residents had to live with them. Most of the time, the dogs wouldn’t attack, but several attacks led to the death of the men and women trespassing the animals’ territory.
In fact, this tragedy reminds the citizens of another one that happened 10 years ago when a 4-year-old boy was also mauled to death in one of the Bucharest parks. At that moment, authorities estimated a rough number of 64,000 stray dogs in Bucharest and 40 persons arrived at hospitals mauled by dogs daily.
The solution was to hire dog catchers and build animal shelters. It seems like a good choice, and Bucharest residents were happy to see the animals taken off the streets.
From this perspective, Bucharest is quite a safe city, and tourists and residents can walk safely in Bucharest parks. Yet, there are still some areas where authorities haven’t done enough or anything. On top of that, when such events happen, the authorities deny responsibility and point to other public servants. No resignation, no public apology, and no respect for the citizens.
Unfortunately, as it happens in Romania, the story changed from the woman’s tragic death to a political comedy.
The District 6 Mayor, who is also the Bucharest Liberal Party leader, said he wasn’t to be blamed but a certain Association for Animal Protection. The Association spokeswoman told reporters they wanted to pound the dogs in that area, but the mayor’s people prevented their actions. The General Mayor, backed by Liberals in the election campaign, hasn’t yet released any opinion on the matter, even though the Association is under his direct responsibility.
The problem now is who is to lose politically after this event, it’s not about the tragic death any longer. The sufferance of the family, the appalled citizens, and public opinion are left aside. What matters is only the political future of the District Mayor, the General Mayor and the public servants paid generously in Romania. Notably, the salaries in the public sector in Romania are up to 30% higher than in the private sector. The results are visible: incompetency, not only corruption, kills in Romania, and this is a lesson to be learnt by whoever still has a shred of dignity in the country.