-Last Brown Bear of Switzerland Shot

naturschutz.ch via Swiss Broadcasting Corporation
M13 before his death

Switzerland’s Only Bear Shot by Authorities After Being Deemed Dangerous to  Humans

March 05, 2013


Wildlife rangers have shot dead Switzerland’s only bear because authorities  feared it posed a threat to humans.

It was a male bear, known only as M13, and he had lived in the Graubuenden  mountain region of eastern Switzerland, on the border with Italy, Agence  France-Press reported. Springs were spent in the Val Poschiavo. AFP reported  that the two-year-old bear had begun foraging for food in inhabited areas and  sometimes followed people.

“In November 2012, the bear had already been considered problematic and  placed on a behaviour-watch list, a step away from a cull order,” the news wire  said. “Before deciding they must kill the bear, Swiss rangers had attempted to  increase its wariness of humans by firing rubber pellets and firecrackers.”

But that didn’t work, and the bear, the last survivor of three cubs—his  brothers had been hit by cars in Italy—was shot by wildlife rangers on February  19, a spokesman for the Swiss government’s Federal Office for the Environment  Adrian Aeschlimann told AFP.

“Both in the autumn and now after waking from his winter sleep, the bear kept  looking for food in villages, had followed people in broad daylight and—despite  repeated measures to scare him off—showed absolutely no fear of humans,” said a  statement from Switzerland’s Federal Office for the Environment, quoted by the Swiss  Broadcasting Corporation. 
“He was classified as a risk to human safety.  Under Switzerland’s ‘bear plan’ it became inevitable that he would be shot.”

The bear had allegedly awakened about 10 days before the shooting, followed  two hikers into a village, and then ambled down the town’s main drag, the Swiss  authorities told the broadcasting network. M13 was a cross-border bear, and  there are 30 or 40 bears in Italy right next door, authorities said.

European nations are slowly losing their bears. In the Spanish Pyrenees, the  last female brown bear died in 2010, the Telegraph  reported in October of that year. The endangered species Urus arctos, the  European brown bear, was down to about 20 in the Pyrenees, the Telegraph  reported. France has halted its 20-year-long attempt to repopulate the mountain  range with brown bears, the newspaper said, in light of shepherd complaints of  livestock attacks.

Italy’s Trentino region has about 40 bears, Swiss authorities said at a press  conference following M13’s slaying, so more could easily cross into Switzerland.  M13 was part of that group, the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation  said.

Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2013/03/05/switzerlands-only-bear-shot-authorities-after-being-deemed-dangerous-humans-148024

Feb 6—Super Volcano Alert at Phlegrain Fields of Naples in Italy



A restive “super volcano” west of Naples is raising nervousness in the local Italian population. The ground of the Campi Flegrei (“burning fields”), also known as the Phlegraean Fields, has risen more in recent weeks than it has in a long time.  Location of Campi Flagrei is close to African-Eurasian plate boundaries.

Italy’s Deparment of Civil Protection recently raised the alert level for the Phlegraean Fields, where Wiersberg said the ground was rising by about three centimetres a month. There are concerns that a magma chamber under the fields – presumably connected to the one under Mount Vesuvius, east of Naples – is filling up, the rising pressure possibly heightening the danger of an eruption.

Wiersberg is part of an international research team that began drilling into the ground not far from the caldera last summer to monitor possible early warning signs of an eruption.

“Many houses cracked,” after which the ground deformation sharply subsided, Wiersberg said. “But it’s true that the uplift has increased again during the past two or three months.” An eruption could have serious consequences for the heavily populated region with knock-on effects for the whole of Europe. There could also be worldwide impact, for example in the form of climatic changes. No forecasts have been made thus far. Since super volcanoes seldom undergo massive eruptions, empirical data is lacking. “It’s easy to assert there’ll be an eruption sometime. That doesn’t help us, though. We need more specific information,” Wiersberg said. He said the drilling project aimed in part to monitor the Phlegraean Fields over the long term and gain more knowledge of what had occurred earlier in the super volcano. “First we’ve got to understand what’s happening under the surface,” Wiersberg said. Then it may be possible to say more about the likelihood of an eruption.

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Image by: Donarreiskoffer/ Wikimedia Commons