'Police shamed me’: angry 'bear' attack victim
The Local · 8 May 2012, 08:47
Published: 08 May 2012 08:47 GMT+02:00
- Swedish police in 'bear attack hoax' retreat (06 May 12)
- Swedish police: bear attack was a hoax (06 May 12)
- Swedish man reports 'unprovoked' bear attack (05 May 12)
“The police went public and hinted that I had faked the bear attack and humiliated me in front of the entire Swedish population,” said Morf to daily Aftonbladet.
Morf had reported to police on Saturday that he had been attacked by a bear in the Glamsen area, south of Gävle.
He told police that he was walking alone on a dirt road when the bear hit him with his arms and bit him. The man made a miraculous escape by fleeing on foot and climbing up a tree.
The bear then left the area and the man was able to creep down from the tree, return home and seek help for his injuries.
The officers 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.
However, 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.
Following a further interview with the man, the police discounted the claim that a wild animal was the cause of the injuries and told the media that they though Morf must have sustained his injuries in another way.
However, on Sunday police did a u-turn and have apologized for portraying the man in the press as some sort of hoaxster.
According to Morf’s wife, the whole family has been feeling bad since the police cast doubts on her husband’s credibility.
“What did they think? That I had gone outside and cut myself up?” Morf asked the paper.
The police took back their hoax claims after an expert explained the injuries were definitely caused by some sort of an animal.
However, no bear has yet been found in the area and Swedish bear expert Sven Brunberg, does not think a bear could have caused the injuries.
“Those can’t be scratches from a bear’s claws. That can be ruled out,” he told news agency TT.
Another tip-off that police have received from the public is that an Ural Owl could have caused Morf’s injuries, as the breed is very protective of its young at this time of year and can act very aggressively.
However, Swedish ornithologist Anders Wirdheim has cast doubt on the theory.
“It seems incredible that someone would mistake a bear and an owl,” he said to daily Expressen, adding that the injuries didn’t look like they were caused by an owl.
The bear attack therefore remains a mystery and police no longer consider it their investigation.
“We have received lots of information from the public, about the owls and raccoon dogs among other things. But we are not going to delve into these,” said officer Hans-Olof Sundström to TT.