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Mauling victim pleaded for put-down cubs

The Local/rm · 30 Mar 2011, 12:14

Published: 30 Mar 2011 12:14 GMT+02:00

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Since the accident, Olle, who is still being treated in hospital, has thought a lot about the cubs and hoped that they would be taken care of by authorities. When he heard they had been put down he was bitterly disappointed.

"I think they should have done more to try to save their lives. Of course the mother wasn’t going to come back, all the experts said it was unlikely," he told the Expressen newspaper.

The bear attacked the boy when he, together with four other friends, disturbed her winter lair while skiing off-piste at the ski resort in Härjedalen.

After the attack, the bear fled into the forest and soon the concern turned to her cubs still in need of their mother's milk and risking imminent death if she didn't return.

According to bear expert Lars Svanberg it was surprising that the female bear didn't return. He told newspaper Svenska Dagbladet Monday that in normal circumstances she would have returned within a few days.

"It depends on how safe she feels and how much human activity there's been in the area," he told SvD.

But the mother never returned and around midday Tuesday the local police reached the decision that the cubs were in such a bad state that they had to be put down, despite the offer from an animal park to take them in.

"We didn't want them to suffer. We examined them and came to the conclusion that it wasn't appropriate to let them continue," Andrew Sörensen of the police told news agency TT.

The police had received threats in the past and would therefore not disclose who had final say in the matter but assured Expressen that they were acting on expert advice.

"We are certain that we reached the right decision. There was a mother and we had to put our hopes to her return. We can’t go picking up cubs every time a mother goes missing," Sörensen told Expressen.

Representatives from Orsa Bear Park were disappointed not to have been allowed to help, but relived that the cubs were no longer suffering.

Story continues below…

"It is a pity they did not turn to us for guidance," Pernilla Thalin told the newspaper.

From his sickbed twelve-year-old Olle was disappointed that not more had been done to save the cubs.

“I don’t see why our lives should be so much more important than the bears’,” he said.

The Local/rm (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

14:52 March 30, 2011 by Nemesis
An animal park offered to take them in.

The police in this case need there heads looked at.
15:24 March 30, 2011 by GLO
This just not believable! Some authority needs to investigate this stupid decission. What the HE## does the public need to do to get good Leadership???? SHAME
16:22 March 30, 2011 by Keith #5083

when I first read your story, I thought you and your friends had been tormenting the bear.

My sincere apologies.

Reading what you said to yourself whilst being attacked - and now reading what you say about the importance of all life....would you mind terribly if I promote you to status of HERO in my mind?

I hope you have a wonderful future....and speak out about what moves you.Speak out LOUDLY.pls
02:06 March 31, 2011 by Da Goat
Typical Police incompetence if in doubt destroy it.

normal police rules if it is unowned or confiscated by police and police can't sell it for profit for their Christmas kitty, then blow it up or away!
02:23 March 31, 2011 by Roy E
It's a very stupid thing to mess with hibernating bears.

The kid is totally responsible for his own injuries and the cub's deaths.
10:14 March 31, 2011 by Keith #5083
#Roy E

Could you please inform us where you have the information that this boy was 'messing with hibernating bears'?

The information I have seen does not confirm this - which was actually my original thought also. It does appear that the boy/s were not tormenting or disturbing the bear.

It follows,therefore, that your comment is somewhat unfair and the boy should not bear the responsibility for the death of the cubs.
12:33 March 31, 2011 by karex
This is unbelievable. Even with a specialized park wanting to take them in and care for them it seems that the decision-making process is always patronistic and unilateral. So to follow this line of reasoning. I suppose that the police should go to all hospitals and put all seriously ill people out of their suffering by executing them?
00:55 April 1, 2011 by Roy E
@Keith #5083

Look up the word 'hibernating' and understand what it means. It provides a clue.
05:26 April 5, 2011 by Smiling Canuk
Let's hope this kid becomes a conservationist and not a hunter when he is an adult.

Sweden has only about 800 black bears to my understanding. Two cubs is a very significant loss. We have about an estimated 400,000 black bears in Canada to put it in perspective and that doesn't include grizzlies or polar bears.
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