Hungry bears changing diet

In the latest of a string of attacks over the past few months, a member of Greece’s resurgent bear population devoured a horse in an Epirus village yesterday. The incident near Kipi, in the Zagoria group of villages some 50 kilometers north of Ioannina, came two days after a bear attack on a nearby pig farm. Last week, a farmer in the village of Malakassi near Metsovo, about 70 kilometers west of Ioannina, had to run for his life from a marauding bear that ended up eating the man’s donkey. Several other attacks have been recorded over the past four months in the Metsovo area, the most serious of which was the fatal mauling in May of an 85-year-old shepherdess on the outskirts of Anilio, some 425 kilometers northwest of Athens. Greece’s bear population consists exclusively of brown bears, which are believed to number between 140-160. Most live in the Pindus and Rhodope mountains. Bear protection officials say the animals face a severe lack of food in the wild following a harsh winter.