Bear victim’s family gets compensation

After three years of uncertainty, the family of a 40-year-old man killed by a bear has finally learned that it will receive financial compensation from the state.

On Wednesday, the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (Naturvårdsverket) decided to set aside 150,000 kronor ($21,200) from its wild animal injury fund. The money will be transferred to Norrbotten’s county administrative board, which in turn will pay out to the victim’s family.

The 40-year-old was on an elk hunt in Jokkmokk in October 2004 when he was attacked and killed by a female bear. He is survived by his wife and three young children. An investigation showed that the man had not done anything that might have caused the attack.

The three-year delay has been explained by the fact that incidents of this kind are so rare that a precedent has never been established. The last recorded case of anybody being killed by a bear in Sweden was in 1902.

“The regulations surrounding this have not been fully adapted. It is only reasonable that if a person is killed by a bear there should be compensation in the same way that there will be compensation if a dog is killed,” said Norrbotten county board member Jan Olov Westerberg.