Lifestyle & Belief

M13, Switzerland's only wild bear, killed due to danger to people


The brown bear, which was about two years old, had repeatedly headed into inhabited areas to look for food and had started to follow people.

Switzerland's only wild bear, known as M13, was killed Tuesday morning due to increasing fears he could attack people. 

Since waking from hibernation two weeks ago, the brown bear had been sighted near inhabited areas — including a school — as it looked for food, Agence France-Presse reported.

M13 had also shown little fear of people despite several attempts to keep it away from town areas, the Swiss Federal Environment Office said.

Due to the high safety risk that M13 could attack a human, authorities agreed he had to be shot, Reuters reported.

According to CNN, the animal, dubbed "Mike" on Twitter, was the only bear known to have been living wild in Switzerland. His movements had been closely monitored since last June when he was fitted with a tracking device.

His exploits since then included breaking into a home, being hit by a local train, and unwittingly leading police to a murder victim when he started a fire.

"The bear's behavior couldn't be changed," wildlife wardens said in a statement.

But environmental campaigners from the World Wildlife Fund condemned the measure.

It said authorities should have instead intensified efforts to frighten the animal away from populated areas.

[View the story "The life and times of Mike the Bear" on Storify]