A veterinarian is due to determine whether a brown bear – a protected species – found dead on the outskirts of Florina in northern Greece on Tuesday was poisoned or died of other causes.
Arcturos, a Florina-based bear conservation group, said it found the animal dead a day after alerting authorities in Florina that a bear had been spotted near the town.
The group said that poisoned bait appears to be the most likely culprit in the bear’s death, as its body was found in a pond, where it was probably trying to quench the thirst caused by poisoning.
Arcturos said that poison bait is illegal yet widely used to eliminate wild animals that are perceived as a threat to humans and livestock, such as bears, wolves and foxes.
“Unfortunately, rare or endangered species, as well as sheep and hunting dogs often fall victim, but are treated like ‘collateral damage,’” Arcturos said in an announcement.