Farmer, 70, bearing up after rare attack

A 70-year-old farmer was recovering in a hospital in Florina, northern Greece, yesterday, after being attacked by a large bear on Saturday. Georgios Pierias had set off from his home in the village of Kladorachi on Saturday morning to inspect his corn crop when the incident occurred. According to Pierias’s account, the bear leaped out from behind some trees near his land, chased him and knocked him to the ground. In the ensuing struggle, the bear bit the man who subsequently fainted. The farmer, who suffered a fractured shoulder and scratches, is to be discharged from hospital in a few days. An increasing number of bears have been spotted in Florina and Kastoria since last summer when forest fires damaged their mountain habitats and killed many of the small animals they feed on.