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Wounded bear's condition improves

A brown bear is recovering slowly after a police officer shot it in the chest during the rescue of a mentally handicapped man who managed to enter Bern's new bear park.

Berndt Schildger, park director, said Finn stood up and ate some pears, honey and fish on Tuesday. The four-year-old, 250kg bear is still on painkillers and antibiotics to prevent an infection from the bullet that shattered in its chest.

Vets are not sure whether part of the round penetrated dangerously deep into the bear's body. Though it is still too early to tell, they said the bear's chances of survival still seemed to be improving.

A 25-year-old man entered the capital's signature park on Saturday by crossing over a railing and down a four-metre-high retaining wall to get inside the bear's enclosure.

Finn attacked the man in plain view of horrified eyewitnesses before a police officer shot the bear. The man was taken to hospital and treated for non life-threatening injuries. For privacy reasons, no other information about his condition has been released.

Police are trying to determine why the man got on top of the wall in the first place.

The new bear park, which cost SFr24 million ($23.6 million), was opened one month ago and houses Finn and companion Björk. It stretches from the traditional bear pit down to the River Aare, giving the animals much more space and a more natural environment to roam in.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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