British insurer to protect Bavarian brown bear

24th May 2006, Comments 0 comments

24 May 2006, LONDON - A British insurance company said Wednesday it had negotiated an insurance of 1 million pounds ($1.9 million) to protect the first brown bear spotted in Bavaria in southern Germany in 171 years.

24 May 2006

LONDON - A British insurance company said Wednesday it had negotiated an insurance of 1 million pounds ($1.9 million) to protect the first brown bear spotted in Bavaria in southern Germany in 171 years.

BritishInsurance said the sum of 1 million pounds will cover losses and damages caused by the bear "in the ordinary course of his life."

In practice, it means that farmers or any other third parties suffering harm because of the bear will receive compensation.

Simon Lance Burgess, Managing Director of BritishInsurance, said Wednesday the policy was aimed at "encouraging people not to kill the bear."

He said a policy of this kind should have been taken out by the Bavarian state government.

"We heard about the shoot-to-kill order, and we are outraged. It's a beautiful animal," Burgess said.

Foresters in Bavaria, southern Germany, and in neighbouring Austria, have been hunting the elusive bear and issued an order to shoot the animal on sight.

The brown bear has raided flocks of sheep and a hen-run since straying across the region. The German authorities have said the animal has become so bold it could attack people and must be stopped.

Animal-rights activists angrily criticized the "death penalty." But zoos said they had no use for a wild bear. Experts said even a safari park would be a cruel end for a roaming beast of prey.

Austria also authorized hunters Tuesday to shoot the bear because it had overcome its natural dislike of human habitations.

Bears are extinct in most of Europe except Russia and the Carpathian Mountains. Austria has just 30.

DPA

Subject: German News

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