Bear shot dead in Slovakia after injuring five people

Staff WritersDeutsche Presse Agentur
A bear has been shot dead in Slovakia following an incident in which several people were hurt. (AP PHOTO)
Camera IconA bear has been shot dead in Slovakia following an incident in which several people were hurt. (AP PHOTO) Credit: AP

A brown bear that injured five people in a small Slovakian town has been tracked down and shot dead more than a week after the incident.

Slovakian Environment Minister Tomas Taraba announced on Facebook on Wednesday that the animal had been killed on Tuesday evening.

Drones were also used to find the bear and identify it beyond doubt, the news agency TASR reported.

The Brown Bear Response Team, which belongs to the state nature conservation organization SOPSR, had also set up a network of surveillance cameras to search for the animal.

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Patrols from the team, the police and hunters had combed the area around the town of Liptovsky Mikulas.

The bear had wandered through the town on March 17 and injured passers-by.

Mobile phone videos showed the startled animal running stressed through the streets between cars, apparently looking for an escape route.

It jumped at adults and children who were unable to get out of the way in time.

The victims, aged between 10 and 72, suffered bites and scratches, and one of them almost lost an eye, it was reported at the time.

Nevertheless, the five injured people were all able to return home after a short time in hospital.

The incident intensified earlier calls from sections of the local community and hunters for the bear population to be regulated by culling.

According to studies carried out by the SOPSR in collaboration with scientists from Charles University in Prague, there are between 1100 and 1200 bears living in the wild in Slovakia.

They normally avoid humans if they notice them in time.

However, they can also attack in the event of a surprise encounter, or if female bears believe their cubs are threatened.

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