Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Bear with us

The Italians are in yet another diplomatic dispute with neighbors, this time over a dead brown bear:

Bruno, born in the Italian Alps, wandered over into Austria and Bavaria where he was judged a "problem bear" because he was not shy of humans and kept coming close to farms and villages in his hunt for food.

At one point, while specially trained bear hunters with sniffer dogs were looking for him high up in the Alps, he nonchalantly strolled into a village and sat on the steps of a police station. He was shot because authorities deemed him a risk to humans.

The Bavarian government wants to have Bruno stuffed and put in a museum. He is being kept in a freezer and his location is being kept secret for security reasons, according to the Bavarian Environment Ministry.

It's unclear whether this is to prevent a raid by Italian commandos or a vigil by the many Bruno fans for whom the bear remains an unforgotten tragic hero.

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