Rampaging brown bears have attacked wild boars in the picturesque Beskydy mountain range in the Czech Republic and are starting to move closer to populated areas, prompting warnings to hikers. Most of the bears are nomads who were forced out by their own mothers.
Video footage has surfaced on the internet of one bear attacking a wild boar on February 26 in a forest near the village of Stare Hamry in the Moravian-Silesian region, and there was a second incident in the Beskydy area last week when a bear chased down a wild boar in a Masaryk riverbed. Park rangers have confirmed that both boars were killed.
Sightings of bears are rare but becoming more frequent in the Czech Republic, with most crossing from neighbouring Slovakia, where an estimated 700 to 900 roam through wilderness areas. The Beskydys range runs from the Czech Republic to Ukraine, passing Poland and Slovakia.
Wildlife experts say the bears are mostly young adults or females with cubs who are pushed across the border from the area around Kysuce by their mothers once they reach maturity. Bears fiercely defend their territories, even against their adult offspring.
Some are moving close to villages, but few recorded attacks on humans. In October conservation officers chased away a young bear that killed nine sheep and two goats, destroyed six beehives and broke down fences as it moved between villages and farms.