‘Bear attack was state’s responsibility’

'Bear attack was state's responsibility'
A 29-year-old man from central Sweden is suing the state for 300,000 kronor ($50,000) after he was attacked by a bear earlier this year, Aftonbladet reports.

Forestry worker Johnny Smedberg was out clearing trees with two other men near Orsa in late March when he came upon a female bear that had just awoken from hibernation. With no time to escape, he was left scarred for life after the animal bit him on the arms, legs and head.

Claiming the ordeal has left him suffering from “mortal anxiety”, Smedberg is now demanding compensation from the state.

“They are the ones who have caused the problem. It’s they who want the bears. If you shoot a predatory animal you have to pay damages to the state, but they don’t take responsibility if you are attacked by one of their animals,” he told Aftonbladet.

While he is not certain to receive the amount he has demanded, Dalarna county administrative board has not ruled out paying him some form of damages.

“If you have been attacked by a bear and have not done anything wrong you have a legal right to compensation. But that’s just for bears; it does not include other predators,” board spokesperson Lena Berg told Aftonbladet.

“We have not decided on this case yet. Since it’s the first time we are dealing with a case of this kind it important that the level of compensation is reasonable,” she added.