Hunter Attacked by Mother Bear in Ajdovščina

By , 14 Aug 2019, 16:00 PM Lifestyle
Hunter Attacked by Mother Bear in Ajdovščina Ian Middleton

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STA, 14 August 2019 - A she-bear with a cub attacked a hunter in the woods in the municipality of Ajdovščina, south-west, on Tuesday evening while he approached it unaware of its presence, the Nova Gorica Police Department said in a release on Wednesday.

The police explained the 67-year-old hunter had sat under a tree when he noticed a 150-kilogramme bear with a cub some 10 metres away.

The bear attacked him, biting his leg and scratching his head and body when the hunter started to yell to chase it away.

He sought medical assistance at the local emergency unit on his own, but the injuries were not as severe to require hospitalisation, so he is recovering at home.

The Forest Service, one of the main national organisations in charge of wild animal populations, was notified of the attack to take required measures.

However, analysing the attack it said it was a result of an unlucky coincidence when a hunter ran into a bear with a cub.

And since the incident occurred in the forest rather than near a town, the bear was assessed not to be aggressive so it will be monitored rather than culled.

This was a second bear attack on people this year, said the Forest Service, adding a long-term average is two to three attacks a year.

The first took place at the end of June, when an 80-year-old woman was attacked by a female bear with two cubs near her village some 15 kilometres south of Ljubljana.

Hunters were then ordered to kill the bear and both of its cubs, but could not do it because activists prevented the decree from being implemented.

Once the decree expired, the Forest Service decided not to extend it because there were no other encounters with the bear.

Just two days before this year's first bear attack, parliament passed an emergency bill to reduce the bear and wolf populations by 200 and eleven, respectively.

The law was needed to end the deadlock resulting from the Administrative Court banning bear culling upon an NGO's appeal against a government decree.

This resulted in the bear populations growing rapidly, to some 1,000, whereas the wolf population is estimated at around 80.

But the emergency law has been severely criticised by farmers and hunters, as wolf and bear attacks are continuing.

Hunters have culled 75 bears under the emergency law but not a single wolf since severe restrictions apply to wolf hunting, so they risk high fines.

The rules were somewhat loosened at yesterday's high-profile meeting hosted by the environment minister.

All our stories on bears are here, and those on hunting are here

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