A wild bear in northeastern Italy, weighing about 385 pounds, has awakened from hibernation and is very hungry, judging as he has eaten livestock from farms, such as chickens and even horses. Dino has a chip implanted in his skin so his movements are being tracked, and his ranging from meal to meal, whether it is natural or from a farm, is creating a dilemma. Local ranchers apparently are becoming vocal for the need to take the bear down. Bears have been reintroduced in the area because the numbers had been reduced so drastically over the years. Some aren’t too happy about some bears being brought back though.
The last time a bear that was reintroduced there, it ended badly with the bear being shot. Bruno was his name and he reportedly ate 33 sheep, four domestic rabbits, one guinea pig, hens and some goats before he was killed.
Spiegel Online reports Dino the bear has 10,000 fans on Facebook. But do those fans make their living on farms, or understand the farming lifestyle? We all want wild animals to live freely, and safely, but it could be that the bear relocation project there has some issues to reconsider.
Neighboring Slovenia actually has a fairly large wild bear population and even has a state-sanctioned annual bear hunt. That bear kill is not without controversy however, as the take each year has been challenged as too large. So having a few wild bears in the Italian Alps sourced from Slovenia appears to be a good idea, until they start wreaking havoc on local farmers.
Perhaps the region is too developed and populated with people and farms with livestock for wild bears to co-exist there. Who could blame the bears for treating penned animals as their own personal buffet if they are hungry and there aren’t as many natural, familiar food sources for them?
Note: The bear pictured stuffed and exhibited above is Bruno, not Dino who is still alive, for now.