Ilava Town Hall (in western Slovakia, Trenčín region) used its public address system to warn locals of a bear having been spotted in the borough of Skala.
"We've received repeated reports from citizens that they have seen a bear in the vicinity of Ilava ... We have used the public address system and the internet to advise people to be cautious," said Ilava mayor Štefan Daško as quoted by the TASR newswire. "I, for one, haven't seen it but inhabitants of the Skala borough have allegedly seen it from their gardens."
Milan Pagáč of the hunters' association Borokové-Vapec considers the incident to be an unnecessary case of panic. He thinks the bear in question is young and has been cast away by its mother, and is now seeking territory of its own. According to Pagáč, it was mainly ripening fruit such as plums that lured the bear to the urban area. "Bears seek serene places and this part of the land is anything but, so I don't think it would establish its territory here."
Pagáč also pointed out that bears breed excessively in Slovakia. "We hunters have a different opinion than environmentalists on this issue. We maintain that there are too many bears for such a small area ... a dominant male should enjoy a territory equalling roughly ten square kilometres and there are simply not enough natural habitats to accommodate all the bears in Slovakia," said Pagáč, adding that their growing presence close to human dwellings attests to that.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.