Germany gives orders to shoot wild bear on sight

22nd May 2006, Comments 0 comments

22 May 2006, GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, GERMANY - Hunters were authorized Monday to shoot the first bear to prowl free through Germany for 170 years after the newly arrived animal killed seven sheep.

22 May 2006

GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, GERMANY - Hunters were authorized Monday to shoot the first bear to prowl free through Germany for 170 years after the newly arrived animal killed seven sheep.

"This bear is out of control," said Bavarian Environment Minister Werner Schnappauf.

The brown bear, which had crossed last week into Germany from Austria through mountainous forests straddling the border, had repeatedly attacked sheep and had also invaded a hen run.

Schnappauf said hunters were authorized to shoot the bear, but animal-protection officers would also try to trap the animal alive.

He guaranteed that if it was captured, it would not be released back into the woods. He did not say what its fate would be.

The last bear in the wild in Germany was hunted and killed in 1835. There are large numbers of European brown bears in the mountains of eastern Europe. They have been re-acclimatized in Austria and the Pyrenees under conservation policies.

The bear attacked sheep on Saturday and Sunday in the Garmisch- Partenkirchen area in Germany's southeastern corner, angering farmers.

Authorities had initially contemplated putting a radio positioning device on the bear so farmers could be warned as it roamed.

DPA

Subject: German news

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