STA, 7 May 2020 - A 56-year-old man strolling in the woods near Škofljica, just south of Ljubljana, stumbled upon a bear, who attacked him, media have reported. The man reportedly surprised the animal and used his hands and a walking stick to defend himself, the Forests Institute told the STA. Police say the man's injuries are not life-threatening.
The man was strolling in the woods between the villages of Klada and Želimlje on Tuesday evening when he stumbled upon the bear.
According to the Forests Institute, the man did nothing to provoke the attack but he obviously came too close to the animal.
The 56-year-old returned home in shock and with multiple wounds on the upper part of his body. His family immediately took him to the hospital, where it was determined that he had only sustained light injuries and had no bite wounds.
The site of the incident was thoroughly checked and is still being monitored by the local hunting association. Police too are investigating the incident.
If the bear continues to come close to humans, showing no fear, the association said it would ask the Environment Agency for permission to shoot the animal.
A bear attack happened in the same area last June. Back then an 80-year old woman was the victim of a female bear, which was not killed after the incident.
On average, two bear attacks on humans are recorded in Slovenia every year. People do not encounter the beast frequently, as bears usually avoid contact with humans.
Encounters are the most frequent in the spring, when bears emerge from their dens after winter sleep and more people are out in the woods, as well as in the summer and autumn when people pick forest fruit and mushrooms.
Bears usually cause light injuries to humans, such as scratches and bites. Fatal injuries are rare. In Slovenia, three such cases have been recorded so far, the last one in 1987.