First recorded fatal bear attack in Slovenia in living memory

Bears are highly intelligent fascinating animals. However it must also be remembered, that they are highly efficient predators, and that they are more than capable of defending themselves.

Slovenian brown bear foraging with cubs CREDIT: MARCO SECCH

The Slovenian bear population has tripled in the last 20-years, and there are increasingly loud calls to legalise hunting. This will only make these calls more insistent.

Current estimates suggest there 2762 bears in the country, up from 900 around the turn of the millennium.

DNA samples have be taken to identify the bear. Last year there were five bear attacks. He had been bitten on his neck his ribs and his stomach.

While I send condolences to his family, his death is a very rare occurrence. It is a reminder that bears have the capability of killing humans. The thing is boar deer and various snakes also have this capability – the world is a dangerous place. It is impossible to remove this danger and we should not try.

Bears in central Europe don’t see humans as food, allowing bear watching to be a relatively safe pastime. It is highly likely that this man surprised the bear, perhaps it was sleeping or otherwise engaged.

Bears are a natural part of the European ecosystem. They should be considered dangerous -as we are reminded by this. It shouldn’t put people off, merely remind us to be very careful.

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