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Swedish police in 'bear attack hoax' retreat

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16:29 CEST+02:00
The 38-year-old man who claimed on Saturday that he had been attacked by a bear south of Gävle in eastern Sweden, has injuries which doctors believe were inflicted by an animal and police have now apologized for doubting his story.

It remained unclear on Sunday afternoon what type of animal was in fact involved in the attack which left the man nursing scratch and bite wounds.

"He is not suspected of any crime," said Ulf Sundgren at Gävleborg police to news agency TT.

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.

The police initially believed his story and dispatched a team of hunters to search the area for the bear. A warning was also issued to local residents.

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 man's wife had earlier confirmed that her husband had indeed sustained injuries while out on his walk.

"It is mostly scratches and the odd bite here and there," she told the Expressen daily.

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

"We think he received his injuries in some other way," said Peter Hultqvist at Gävleborg police on Saturday evening.

The police have now performed a u-turn and have apologized that the man has been portrayed as unreliable.

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