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Switzerland, You Had One Wild Bear … and You Shot It

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Switzerland, you had one wild bear

ohne_titel6-35035536Meet M13, the last undercover Russian operative the only known wild brown bear to be living in Switzerland. In the early hours of the morning on Tuesday, the three-year-old bear was shot by order from the Federal Office for the Environment after repeated incidents of his venturing into populated areas and showing no fear of humans.

It was over before it even started for M13. The bear got a little too hungry for a snack from the ol’ pic-a-nic basket back in October and November of last year, entering several residential areas and even broke into a home to forage — all behavior that led him being labeled as a “problem bear.”

Sadly, the behavior continued after he awoke from his winter hibernation this month, Swiss Info reported, and despite attempts to ward him off from populated areas with non-deadly weapons, including rubber bullets and other measures, he showed no signs of deterrence. Apparently, the killing of M13 as part of some Swiss bear plan came as no surprise to many individuals. Il Grigione Italiano, the online newspaper for the Poschiavo region where the bear resided, ran the headline, ‘Are we just waiting for a tragedy?’ this past weekend in reference to his recent behavior.

Some news outlets are reporting that the local council in Poschiavo merely called for the bear to be placed in a less populated area instead of being executed. Likewise, many animal rights activists, including the World Wildlife Fund and Swiss Animal Protection are condemning the premature death of Switzerland’s last wild brown bear, citing it as “the easy way out.”

And here’s the Swiss’ overreaction to bears for reference:

[Swissinfo.ch]
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