Thursday, 05. December 2013 - 12:12
14. 04. 12. - 09:00
Austrian hunters have caught a real life Yogi Bear who mugs campers and picnickers for their food in the Graubunden region of Switzerland rather than foraging in the wild.
The bear has dominated newspaper reports in Austria and Switzerland recently after his exploits that included mistaking a skidoo for a Scooby snack and ripping off large chunks before realising it was inedible, and making off.
Hannes Jenny from the Hunting and Fishing Authorities in Switzerland said: "The problem is that the bear has lost his fear of human beings. By shooting him with a tranquilliser gun it allowed us to fit in with a GPS system and now whenever he comes close to areas inhabited by humans we can have hunters there that can shoot him with a special type of rubber bullet designed for bears and imported from America. Normal rubber bullets don't affect bears – but the cartridges used for the Bears contain lots of small rubber pellets designed to drive the bear off.
"That should teach him to avoid man in the future. At the moment he seems to prefer feeding himself from stealing from people, whether that's beehives on farms or raiding bins in a local park. We want him to get his food naturally in the woods in future."
Officials have named the bear only by his scientific name – M13 - believing that giving the Bears human names created too much of a sentimental attachment among the general public that made it difficult if they then were forced to shoot a problem bear that threatened human life or became too much of a nuisance.
Mr Jenny added: "We tied his hands and muzzle and fitted a GPS system to his neck and the second one on his body, then we freed him. We were also able to confirm that it's the same bear that been causing problems elsewhere in the area. He weighs 120 kilos at the moment."
Prior to the capture and tagging of M13 officials in Austria and Switzerland had worn hikers to be on the lookout for the animal.
Wildlife experts said that the bears were notoriously drowsy after waking up from their long winter sleep and often showed a very bad temper. M13 had also shown himself to be lazy in simply stealing from man and had probably been confused from his long winter sleep when he tackled the skidoo.
It was an unusual exercise for police – who had to take DNA samples of the hair left by the bear at the scene in order to help the scientists who fitted the GPS system identify the beast.
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