Bulgarian Starts New Probe in 'Hollywood-harmed' Bats Case
The Appellate Prosecutor's Office in Bulgaria's central city of Veliko Tarnovo, overturned Monday the decision of the Regional Prosecutor's Office in Lovech to stop the probe of possible legal violations in the Devetashka cave.
The appellate prosecutors ordered a new probe in the cave.
At the end of November, a Bulgarian zoologist alarmed that the bat population in the Bulgarian Devetashka Cave, a key spot for spending the winter season, has been reduced to 1/4 by the recent filming of the Hollywood blockbuster "Expendables 2."
The Devetashka Cave, located in central northern Bulgaria, houses for the winter a key European bat colony, with many endangered species protected in the country and Europe.
An excessive number of dead bats were found after the shooting of "The Expendables 2," claimed environmentalists.
It was reported that the European Commission has sent a letter to the Bulgarian Ministry of Environment and Waters, inquiring information on the case with the dead bats in the Devetashka cave.
Experts of the Ministry and of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, BAS, conducted their own probe and announced that the majority of bats were found to be in hibernation and the dead ones were within the norm of the usual mortality rate.
The Veliko Tarnovo Appellate Prosecutor's Office decided Monday that their Lovech colleagues had failed to fulfill their duties to check the cave during the filming of the movie and the issued permit, despite being alerted about possible violations.
With this decision, the Veliko Tarnovo prosecutors become the first State authority to side with the environmentalists in their claims the Environmental Ministry had failed to counter the violations.
The eco activists remain unwavering in their fight.