Police kill bear after village worries

Police in a village in northern Sweden say they have killed a bear that had been peering through residents' windows and rummaging through their bins.

Locals had been worried that the bear’s presence could lead to somebody getting hurt. A policeman shot the animal on Thursday evening.

“The villagers are delighted. It’s tragic, of course, but it was necessary to act before something happened,” said Karl-Erik Brösth of Jokkmokk Police.

The bear – “a little thing weighing 50 kilos” according to Brösth – had become accustomed to people. On one occasion it walked onto a resident’s veranda.

“Last summer a female bear was wandering around the village with three cubs, and went looking for food in the houses. They weren’t scared at all, and did not move for cars. We think that this bear was one of the cubs,” Brösth said.

The chief of police in Gällivare took the formal decision to shoot the bear. A policeman armed with a hunting rifle shot the animal as it made its way round the village on Thursday evening.