Swiss wildlife authorities have confirmed the sighting of a brown bear in the Bernese Oberland, continuing the pattern of increased spottings over the past few months.
Having seen a video unavailable to the media, Switzerland’s Carnivore Ecology and Wildlife Managementexternal link reported on Thursday that it was definitely a brown bear.
What’s not clear is whether it was M29 – a shy male born in Italy in 2013, who is believed to have first crossed the border into Switzerland in April 2016. M29 was spotted a few times before slipping off the radar in September 2017.
Wednesday’s observation in Lenk marks four consecutive months of Swiss bear or bear track sightings: in April 2018, one was seen on a ski piste in the Engelberg valley near Lucerne; several people saw a bear near Lake Thun in May; and in June bear tracks were found near the Bern-Lucerne border.
Apart from the destruction of a couple of beehives, the bear or bears have kept their distance from farms and settlements. A dead calf found near Wednesday’s sighting was not killed by a wild animal, according to a local gamekeeper.
The Bernese game authorities have published a list of dos and don’ts (in German) for people who see a bearexternal link. For example, they should keep their distance, speak in a normal voice, withdraw slowly and call +41 (0)800 940 100 to report any sightings.