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Bear cubs put down after poacher attack

TT/The Local · 24 Mar 2010, 13:39

Published: 24 Mar 2010 13:39 GMT+01:00

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The mother was also put down as a result of her injuries sustained in the incident which occurred in the woods by Röjeråsen near Rättvik in Dalarna.

The two arrested men, aged 66 and 68, were taken in for questioning and have as a result been arrested on a warrant from the environmental unit in Stockholm on suspicion of aggravated poaching offences. Both men are resident in Dalarna.

"Due to the ongoing investigation we are not able to say any more (about the interview) at the moment," said Sven-Åke Petters at Dalarna police.

According to Petters, the police received a report from a private person that a female bear had been injured. The bear was then tracked and captured and, after an analysis of her injuries, was put down.

When the bear was captured it was discovered that she was bearing milk and so it was concluded that she had young.

"It was possible to follow the bear's tracks back to her winter lair where we found three bear cubs which were then also put down," said Sven-Åke Petters.

The cubs were just a few months old, according to the National Veterinary Institute in Uppsala where the four dead bears were taken.

Story continues below…

"The cubs would not have had any chance to survive. They would have died of thirst and hunger without their mother," said bear expert Sven Brunberg at the Scandinavia Brown Bear Project.

The men maintain in their defence that they were skiing in the woods when they were attacked by the female bear who leapt out of the snow-covered lair. They claim that the bear was injured after they shot in self-defence, according to a report in the Aftonbladet tabloid.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:12 March 24, 2010 by eZee.se
I hope these two ***** get charged for all 4 of the bears.

Killing an innocent animal, and that too one that has young.

Begs the question, who are the real "animals".
15:14 March 24, 2010 by StockholmSam
Hmmm...tough call. If it was poaching, then yes, throw the book at them. But their argument of self-defense is pretty hard to disprove. If they were dressed in ski-wear, then they have a strong case. But then again, who goes skiing with a hunting rifle? I'm guessing they were dressed in hunting gear. Crucify 'em.
15:29 March 24, 2010 by DAVID T
Lock them in a room with Daddy Bear
15:51 March 24, 2010 by MyFire
Exactly.... who goes skiing with a rifle! there is a reason they are being investigated under suspicion of poaching. Probably info that the public is not yet aware of.

16:44 March 24, 2010 by insect
The mother was injured and had to be put down. But why were the cubs put down?
20:09 March 24, 2010 by GLO
This is NUTS !!!! You dont ski with a gun, yes why bother to take the little ones to the Bear Refuge???

I cant believe Im really from Swedish stock! When you catch a rat you should know exactly what to do.....
20:37 March 24, 2010 by StockholmSam

You can't really do anything with the cubs. They would not survive on their own and you can't make pets out of them. Putting them in a zoo would be inhumane and sticking them in a bear reserve would get them killed. Sweden doesn't have the resources to raise these bears to live in the wild (really, who does?), so the bears could not be taught how to socialize with other bears or find their own food.

22:37 March 24, 2010 by anviltosser
What's really a shame is that these cubs were killed needlessly.Here in America these bears would have been saved.Their eventual destination could be iffy but they would have lived thanks to the work of both the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as well as any combination of the the fifty state game and fish agencies,which are all funded by hunter's and fishermen.

If these guys were poaching(hunting out of season)then by all means they should be punished.However,if it really was self defense then this serves as a good example of why you should ALWAYS carry a firearm with you in the woods.If a momma bear has cubs and she sees you she will,most likely,attack you.The real woods are not a Disney movie city people.
23:22 March 24, 2010 by badgerknox
To the local: If they are paochers, you can't call them hunters. The two terms are exclusive of one another.

to ezee: the animal was innocent? innocent of what? you eat meat, don't you? or you eat grain from commercial farms, which kill lots of ground nesting animals in the harvesting process, so stop whining about 'innocent' animals.
12:07 March 25, 2010 by LailaC1
I hope these two get punished for what they have done. Who carries guns around with them while skiing?! It makes me sick that young cubs had to be put down as a result.
16:42 March 26, 2010 by MichaelZWilliamson
Playing devil's advocate, if I thought I might get attacked by a bear, I'd carry a rifle. This is common practice in Northern Canada and Alaska, and even some of the northern states like Idaho and Montana.

I can't imagine there isn't someone trained to raise bears who can get them started. There are two brown bears at the Columbus Zoo who were orphans.
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