• Switzerland's news in English

Bear cub kills nine sheep in Graubünden Alps

Malcolm Curtis · 16 May 2014, 12:13

Published: 16 May 2014 12:13 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The cub, identified as M25, was tracked in the Lower Engadine, where early Thursday it attacked sheep among a herd of 300 animals at Vinadi, media reports said.

“It was a disaster,” Georg Jannett, president of the local association of sheep breeders told the Südostschweiz newspaper.

“If the bear does not vanish we will have to remove the sheep from Vinadi.”

Nine sheep were ripped apart by the bear and two of them were almost completely eaten, the newspaper said.

An injured ewe had to be euthanized, according to the report.

Because the sheep are spread over a vast mountainous area it is difficult to constantly monitor what is happening to them, Jannett said.

Pressure is mounting on officials to kill the bear but environmental group WWF has already launched a petition to protect the animal.

The organization said it does not want M25 to meet the same fate as other bears such as M13 and JJ3 that were destroyed by wildlife officials for security reasons.

WWF said it wants Graubünden’s cantonal government to show leadership on the issue by promoting measures to ensure the bear can coexist in the mountain environment with other animals, including livestock.

It called for better herd protection, secured beehive operations and bear-proof trash cans in the area.

Story continues below…

In February 2013, the federal office for the environment authorized the killing in Graubünden of MI3, classified as a “problem bear” after it repeatedly broke into buildings in search of food.

Bears became extinct in Switzerland more than a century ago.

But following a program to reintroduce brown bears to northern Italy from Slovenia 15 years ago, some have wandered into Switzerland on a sporadic basis.

The first of these to be labelled as a nuisance to humans, JJ3, was killed by wildlife officials in 2008. 

Malcolm Curtis (news@thelocal.ch)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
'Protect Swiss waterways or lose our fish': WWF
Photo: Richi Stadelmann/WWF

Eighty-five percent of fish species in Switzerland are under threat, according to a report by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

SBB pilots new annual pass – costing 12,200 francs
The 'door-to-door' pass includes use of an electric car. Photo: SBB

Swiss federal railways (SBB) is looking for 100 people willing to pilot a new annual transport pass that includes use of an electric car.

Immigration to Switzerland falls as emigration rises
File photo: The Local

Immigration in Switzerland has fallen considerably this year, according to official figures.

Wawrinka aces his way into Basel quarterfinals
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

The home favourite returns to the quarterfinals of the Swiss Indoors for the first time in five years.

Illegal immigrant dies after setting himself on fire
The victim was treated at University Hospital Zurich. Photo: University Hospital Zurich

The 45-year-old Tunisian was threatened with deportation.

Swiss government rejects call for second immigration vote
Photo: Justus Blumer/Christophe G

The Swiss government has rejected a popular initiative calling for a revote on plans to limit immigration.

Bern: companies should report salary inequality by law
File photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

The Swiss government wants to force small companies to examine their rates of pay every four years.

Husband in custody after Orbe body identified
File photo: Bas Leenders

The deceased is a 55-year-old woman who lived in the house with her husband.

Presented by MoneyPark
How to get a mortgage in Switzerland
Houses in Zürich. Photo: Pixabay.

Ready to buy? Here’s what you need to know as an expat about Swiss regulations, how to finance your purchase, and why you should use a broker.

Autumn in Switzerland: ten stunning Instagram photos
Photo: Swiss Tourism/Jan Geerk

Switzerland is beautiful in all seasons, but as these photos show, autumn is a special time in the alpine country.

Photo: Unterirdisch Ueberleben
Inside Switzerland’s largest nuclear bunker – 40 years on
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Photo: The Local
Ticino firefighters rescue cow from swimming pool
Photo: Antoni Da Campo
Vegan wins battle to be accepted by Swiss army
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Ten Swiss ski resorts named most expensive in Europe
Photo: Randy Kashka
Swiss women will ‘work for free’ for the rest of year
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Montreux throws hat in Olympic rings
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Seven things you’ll miss about Switzerland if you leave
Photo: Richard Juilliard/AFP
Man makes Geneva airport bomb threat ‘for a joke’
Photo: AFP
Solar Impulse team reveals plans for unmanned plane
File photo: Martin Abegglen
Swiss to vote on passport rules for 3rd gen foreigners
Photo: AFP
Swiss wingsuit hotspot Lauterbrunnen won’t impose ban
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Six reasons Switzerland isn’t as boring as you might think
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Report: Switzerland one of world’s best places for girls
Photo: The Local
Thief returns Swiss cow bells worth thousands
File photo: Wikimedia Commons
One in three rapists isn’t locked up: statistics
Photo: activistin.ch
Tampon-tax protest turns Zurich fountains red
Photo: AFP
Geneva police to lift ban on bearded officers
Photo: Marcel Gillieron/AFP
Suicide chef’s restaurant keeps Michelin stars
Photo: Lara de Salis
11 things the Swiss get tired of hearing abroad
Photo:  Ivo Scholz/Swiss-image.ch
Survey: expats in Switzerland have money but few friends
Photo: AFP
Swiss press criticize Bern’s 'capitulation' on immigration
Photo: Jura Trois Lacs tourism
German ex-policeman is Swiss city’s new hermit
Photo: Dmitry A. Mottl
Ticino votes to favour local workers over foreigners
jobs available