BEAR spray developed by researchers in the United States is being sold in Slovakia for the first time, zoologist Robin Rigg from the Slovak Wildlife Society informed The Slovak Spectator.
The spray uses capsicum, an oil made from red pepper, to create a line of defence between the bear and human. It causes a temporary swelling of the mucous membrane in the eyes, nose, and lungs.
According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the spray is more effective than a weapon. Research that analysed 72 cases involving the spray’s use found that it fended off brown bears in 92 percent of cases, preventing injury 98 percent of the time.
There is an ongoing discussion in Slovakia about whether bears are overpopulated. Estimates of the bear population range from 400 to 900 animals, according to the ČTK newswire. But the country does not have money for a bear census.
1. Sep 2008 at 0:00 | Compiled by Jana Liptáková from press reports