NEWS

Bear suspect in death of Epirus shepherdess

An elderly shepherdess was apparently mauled to death by a bear on Saturday outside a village in Epirus just 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) from the winter resort of Metsovo. The claw-marked body of Efthalia Otsiou, 85, was found by her husband on the outskirts of Anilio, some 425 kilometers (264 miles) northwest of Athens. Bear tracks were found close to the body. A coroner in Ioannina confirmed attack by a large animal as cause of death. Greece’s bear population is exclusively made up of brown bears, between 140-160 of which are believed to live in the country – mainly in the Pindus and Rhodope regions. Ten days ago, residents of the remote village of Makrino in the Zagori area, 60 kilometers (37 miles) from Metsovo by road, complained that bears had invaded their cemetery, battering gravestones and drinking the oil from the lamps placed on top of graves.