Last summer, Bruno the bear decided to stroll from Italy into Bavaria, to the delight of city living European conservationists. He became the first bear spotted in that area since 1835.
However, Bruno didn’t recognize that certain foods weren’t supposed to be on his menu, so did what bears tend to do: kill domestic animals. And although “some animals are more equal than other animals”, local farmers finally had enough after Bruno was blamed for the death of 30 sheep, four rabbits and a guinea pig.

Presumably the cute little guinea pig was the last straw. Families who sighted the bear doing his bear thing looking for food rightly worried that little kids might be next on his menu and got hysterical. So the local Bavarian government

They imported some rare Finnish Bear dogs to hunt him down without success. But finally, a stalwart Bavarian hunter managed to kill the beast, to the relief of locals and to the outrage of bearloving conservationists. The name of the actual hit man remains undisclosed, since  several death threats were sent to the Bavarian Hunter’s Union, who did the hit on Bruno.

Now, many months later, the Italian government continues to press it’s claim that Bruno was “Italian property” and demands to have the carcass returned.

The more pragmatic Bavarians, however, insist that since the bear died on German soil, he is German, and indeed, locals want to have his body preserved and mounted in a local museum.

All of which seems absurd to one who lived for years in Appalachia, where 150kg black bears commonly are seen dumpster diving for goodies, and are considered a minor hazard that one merely calls the wildlife people to track and remove to a more remote part of the state.

Now, if they really want to get hysterical, maybe they should try living near a 500 kg Kodiac or Grizzly bear. They didn’t name the grizzly bear the “Ursus arctos horribilis” for nothing…

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Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. Her webpage is Finest Kind Clinic and Fishmarket 

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