Switzerland's Only Bear Killed by Officials

First Posted: Feb 21, 2013 07:35 AM EST

Switzerland's only wild bear has been culled by officials after it posed a threat to humans.

A brown bear Mike, dubbed M13, was shot dead by officials in the early hours of Tuesday after several run-ins with locals, reports Adrian Aeschlimann, spokesman for the Federal Office for the Environment.

The bear was residing in the mountain regions of Graubenden in Eastern Switzerland on the border of Italy. He also roamed the Val Poschiavo during the spring season.

According to the Graubunden canton officials, the brown bear, which was 2 years old, came in contact with a girl and a couple of other Italian tourists, reports UPI. The girl was later treated at a hospital for shock after the bear followed her in town near the Italian border.

The Swiss-based WWF ordered the shooting, stating that the officials should have made extra efforts to frighten the animal away from the human populated areas.

Based on the management plan for bears in Switzerland, the cull was carried out.

A report says that in November 2012 the bear was put on the behavior watch list as it was considered problematic and a threat. He was fitted with a transmitter in October 2011 which was lost and was replaced with a new transmitter in 2012 in order to keep a close watch on him.

M13's brothers, M12 and M14, who were spotted in Switzerland, Austria and Italy, died last year after being hit by cars in Italy.

M12, M13 and M14 were a part of an endangered programme in Italy's Trentino Alto Adige region.

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