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Rare beast

Bear killed in collision with Swiss train

A 110-kilo bear has been killed in a head-on collision with a train in the Engadine valley in eastern Switzerland. 

The incident occurred just after 11pm on Friday night between the towns of Zernez and S-chanf in canton Graubünden. The animal died on the spot, according to statement by officials from the cantonal fish and wildlife department. 

Bear sightings had been reported in the lower Engadine region since Sunday. The latest one was on Friday by a forest guard in Zernez. 

The dead bear will be transported to the University of Bern. Researchers there will carry out genetic tests to determine the identity of the animal. 

This is not the first time a train has collided with a bear in Switzerland. In 2012, a bear known as M13 met a similar fate in nearby Scuol. The creature survived the collision but was shot a year later after he was declared a “problem bear” for venturing too close to human settlements. 

Bears were once relatively widespread in Switzerland, but the last one was shot in Graubünden in 1904. Today, bears occasionally enter Switzerland from neighbouring Italy. The first sighting was reported in 2005, when a bear named JJ2 visited Graubünden for a few months and disappeared without a trace.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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