Hunter attacked by bear in northern Sweden

A 39-year-old man is recovering in hospital after he was attacked by a bear near Kramfors in northern Sweden on Saturday.

The bear went on the attack in the woods near Storvattnet, west of Kramfors and almost 500 kilometres north of Stockholm.

The man is reported to have suffered only superficial injuries but is being kept in hospital under observation.

Police were alerted at 11.17am that a 39-year-old man, who was taking part in a elk hunt in the area, had been bitten.

The attack occurred when the 39-year-old approached his barking dog to put a lead on him after the hunt had received a call that the dog was barking at a wild animal, which they feared could be a bear.

The 39-year-old was accompanied by a hunting colleague when the bear leapt out of its hole, bowled him over and bit him in the leg, according to a report in Dagens Nyheter.

The 39-year-old’s companion then fired four shots to kill the bear.

The other hunters in the five-man team called the emergency services who were rapidly on the scene and rushed the injured man to Sollefteå hospital.

This is the second report of a bear attack in Sweden within a week. The Local reported on Thursday that a hunter had been attacked and mauled by a bear just north of Bollnäs. The man escape with only minor injuries.

Sweden is home to an estimated 2,900 bears, and the size of the population is growing, according to the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

But bear attacks in Sweden remain unusual. Since 1977, there have been 26 reported attacks on people, resulting in two deaths.

It is most common for attacks to coincide with hunting expeditions, which has been the case for 19 of the 26 attacks.


Bear hunt launched in France after rescue cub escapes from village

A malnourished bear cub found wandering alone through a French village last week has escaped from the home of its appointed carer, triggering a major search, local authorities said Monday.

Bear hunt launched in France after rescue cub escapes from village
Bears are sometimes spotted living wild in the French mountains. Photo: AFP

The cub, believed to be about five months old, has very little chance of survival unless found in the coming hours, according to authorities in Tarn, a southwestern region in the French Pyrenees.

Weighing a mere 8kg, it presents “no danger to humans,” officials said in a statement.

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The bear was found in south west France. Photo: Préfecture of Ariège

The little bear, which was separated from its mother before being weaned, was very weak when found in Couflens, a village on the French-Spanish border. 

After being caught by agents from France's national hunting and wildlife agency ONCFS, it was taken in by a person licensed to keep wild animals.

Saint-Pierre-de-Trivisy, about 100 km east of Toulouse.

No details about how the cub escaped were immediately available.

A team of 12, including three ONCFS wildlife experts, were searching for the animal on Monday.

The authorities appealed for information on any sightings. 

About 50 brown bears live on the French side of the Pyrenees mountains that straddle the border with Spain. 

France began reintroducing bears from Slovenia about 20 years ago, despite opposition from local farmers, after the native population was hunted to near extinction.