bees, honey and other sticky subjects

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Germany soon to be unbearable again

A wild brown bear (generic picture) has been spotted in Germany for the first time since 1835, but the Bavarian environment minister said hunters were free to shoot it! Why? Because the bear needs to eat: so far its ravaged a few sheep and was last seen destroying a beehive.

They're worried that humans might be next even though experts say that the bear is unlikely to approach people.

“There are nearly 30 brown bears in Austria and a few in Switzerland; it was only a matter of time before one came across,” a spokesman for the World Wildlife Fund for Nature, Christian Engel, said yesterday. “The bear is indigenous to Germany, so in a way it has come home.“

Germany's leading tabloid, Bild, gave readers tips on what to do if they bumped into the bear - including playing dead if attacked. But Austrian experts who have been tracking the animal said it was unlikely to approach humans. They were trying to capture it alive, they added.

Outside Russia, there are about 14,000 bears in Europe, mostly in Romania and the Balkans. But the brown bear has been making a comeback elsewhere in central Europe too, aided by resettlement projects in Austria, Italy and France.
Thanks, Rufus.


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