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A Swedish teenager rescued his dad from a vicious bear by hitting it on the head during a hunting trip.
During the start of the bear-hunting season in Ljusdal, a rural area in Central Sweden, an unnamed father and his son encountered a female bear weighing about 140kg (22 stone).
Hunter Jonny Sjoblom, who was leading the local hunt, explained that the bear turned and attacked the father.
He told Swedish news agency TT: “The bear pinned him down and hurt his face. The brave son then hit the bear’s head, diverting its attention. But the bear bit the son’s wrist.
“Thankfully, the distraction gave the father time to shoot the bear and save them.”
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Both the father and son were rushed to the hospital after the incident.
While the father’s face was seriously injured, his life is not in danger.
This unusual incident highlights the changing relationship between humans and wildlife, and how people can show incredible bravery in tough situations.
Bear attacks on humans are still rare in Sweden. As the community learns to live alongside a growing bear population, stories like this remind us of the importance of being aware and careful in nature.
Benny Gafvert, a predator expert at the Swedish branch of the WWF, told a local TV channel: “It wasn’t a giant bear, but if you compare it to a dog, for example, it was significantly bigger, stronger and with more power in its jaws.”
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He added that bears are “not accustomed to being hunted” – and so are more than capable of killing humans if they feel under threat.
“Bears are highly intelligent animals and mainly want to neutralise any threat in order to get away,” he said.
The incident happened as the bear population in northern Sweden has been increasing, causing issues for local farmers.
Over the years, the number of brown bears in northern Sweden has grown to around 3,000, leading to problems for farmers and herders.
These bears have been killing up to 50,000 reindeer every year.
To deal with this, the authorities approved the largest bear hunt in decades, allowing hunters to shoot up to 649 bears this year.
The rise in bear populations in parts of northern Europe is due to better conservation and reforestation efforts in recent decades. This has provided a good environment for bears to thrive, leading to encounters between humans and bears becoming more common.
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