Switzerland's only bear killed amid threat fears

Feb 20, 2013
A bear waits to be fed in Keenesburg, Colorado on October 20, 2011. Switzerland's only recorded wild bear has been culled after fears that it could pose a threat to humans

Switzerland's only recorded wild bear has been culled after fears that it could pose a threat to humans, the authorities announced on Wednesday.

The male bear, known as "M13", was shot dead by wildlife rangers on Tuesday, said Adrian Aeschlimann, spokesman for the Federal Office for the Environment.

"The cull was carried out according to the management plan for in Switzerland," he told AFP.

M13 lived in the mountainous Graubuenden region of eastern Switzerland, on the border with Italy, spending spring seasons in the Val Poschiavo.

The animal, which was around two years old, had repeatedly headed into inhabited areas to look for food and had even taken to following people.

In November 2012, the bear had already been considered problematic and placed on a behaviour-watch list, a step away from a cull order.

Before deciding they must kill the bear, Swiss rangers had attempted to increase its wariness of humans by firing rubber pellets and firecrackers.

M13 was the only survivor of a trio of cubs.

Its brothers, M12 and M14, died last year when they were hit by cars in Italy.

The three bears were part of a programme in Italy's Trentino Alto Adige region to reintroduce an animal long wiped out by hunters.

The population on the Italian side of the border is now around 30.

The Swiss took the decision to shoot M13 after consulting Italian authorities.

Environmental campaigners WWF hit out at the decision to shoot M13.

They said it was natural for a bear that woke up from to head into the valley to look for food, and that it would have returned to the mountains as the weather improved.

In addition, with increasing maturity, M13 would have been likely to return to Italy to look for a mate, they said.

Explore further: Ecosystems can have their fish, and we can eat them too

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bottomlesssoul
5 / 5 (2) Feb 20, 2013
Fear based decision making may not lead to the best solution. Perhaps we shouldn't kill animals (or people) because we're afraid.

Retribution is a different matter though I'm not sure killing is the answer here either.

It seems wrong to me the animal was killed, perhaps they could have enslaved and imprisoned it for the amusement of their citizens.
cantdrive85
2 / 5 (4) Feb 20, 2013
Uncle Jimbo- "Oh god, it's coming right for us!"

Ned- "I'll get it"
Q-Star
4 / 5 (4) Feb 20, 2013
"The cull was carried out according to the management plan for bears in Switzerland," he told AFP.


"Cull" the last bear? "Management plan for bear(s){sic}"? I wonder how much "planning" it takes to "cull"/manage the one last bear?

What language do they double-speak in Switzerland?
Tausch
3.7 / 5 (3) Feb 20, 2013
Behind every trigger is more than one finger.
dan42day
2.3 / 5 (3) Feb 21, 2013
"Cull" the last bear? "Management plan for bear(s){sic}"? I wonder how much "planning" it takes to "cull"/manage the one last bear?


I don't know, but I'm guessing the manager is now out of a job!
teleojan
5 / 5 (2) Feb 21, 2013
could not catch and shower in an area (in another country) where to be tolerated? If Swiss do not tolerated him, had to kill him? Do they think that if the wheel turns can be treated the same? not tolerating something does not means to remove ... was a quote that said stay not where you are tolerated but where you are celebrated. why for people that it's good but does not apply to animals?
Sinister1811
1.7 / 5 (6) Feb 21, 2013
What language do they double-speak in Switzerland?


I guess that the word "manage" in Switzerland means to exterminate something entirely. This begs the question - how hard is it to tranquilize a single bear, and transport it somewhere else?
A_Paradox
4.5 / 5 (2) Feb 21, 2013
I guess that the word "manage" in Switzerland means to exterminate something entirely. This begs the question - how hard is it to tranquilize a single bear, and transport it somewhere else?


Exactly! Here was an opportunity to do something of enormous symbolic value; this creature could have been offered to the zoos of the world, a trust fund/foundation set up for it and public appeal set up. ... but ... no
A bureaucrat made a decision: 'we are Switzerland, a very poor country; the cheapest option is just shoot the fucking thing [it's a refugee from Italy anyway] oh good shot Frantz! Here have some Schnapps! Oh don't cry little childrens, here have so chocolate!'

..... And I suppose next comes an electric fence and permanent armed border guards; after all, we can't have brown bears thinking they are EU citizens what don't need visas!