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Germany declares hunt on roaming Austrian bear

The only good bear is a dead bear...?
by Staff Writers
Munich, Germany (AFP) May 22, 2006
The government of the southern German state of Bavaria on Monday authorised hunters to shoot the first bear spotted in the country in 170 years, saying it was a danger to people.

"This bear has become a problem. He seems to be out of control and we cannot take the risk of people being hurt," said the conservative environment minister of Bavaria, Werner Schnappauf.

He added that the decision to allow hunters to capture or shoot the animal was taken in consultation with the German section of the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF).

The bear was spotted at Garmisch-Partenkirchen in the Bavarian Alps last Thursday plundering a beehive and is believed to have killed seven sheep.

It was the first bear to be reported in Germany since one was killed in western Bavaria in 1835 and is thought to have crossed the border from Austria, where about 30 bears live.

The regional authorities at the weekened said they have mobilised teams to find the bear, anaesthetise it briefly, identify it and release it.

But an animal expert at the University of Freiburg, Felix Knauer, said it has become clear that the bear was too agressive to be allowed to roam free.

"We have underestimated the danger posed by this bear," he said.

Related Links

UN kicks off meeting to better protect world's fishing stocks
United Nations (AFP) May 22, 2006
The United Nations on Monday kicked off a four-day conference to review ways of tightening international law to better protect the world's fish stocks which are being depleted by overfishing.

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