Swedish police: bear attack was a hoax

Police in Gävleborg in eastern Sweden have announced that they no longer believe a man who claimed on Saturday to have been the victim of an unprovoked bear attack.

“He is not reliable,” the police confirmed.

A 38-year-old man reported to the police on Saturday that he had been attacked by a bear in the Glamsen area south of Gävle. But after an extensive search by a police bear hunting unit no trace of the claimed attack could be found.

Police called off the search for the bear at around 6pm on Saturday after consulting experts at the county administrative board. None of the deployed dogs had by that time detected any indication of a bear or other wild animal.

The 38-year-old man had claimed earlier on Saturday that he was walking alone on a dirt road when the bear hit him with his arms and bit him, saying that he escaped by fleeing on foot and climbing up a tree.

The man told police that the bear then left the area and he was able to creep down from the tree, return home and seek help for his injuries. He was later taken to hospital.

The man’s wife confirmed to the Expressen daily that her husband had sustained injuries while out on his walk.

“It is mostly scratches and the odd bite here and there,” she told the newspaper.

But following a further interview with the man, the police discounted the claim that a bear was the cause of the injuries.

“We think he received his injuries in some other way,” said Peter Hultqvist at Gävleborg police.

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