A young male brown bear survived subzero temperatures and a deep gash in its stomach after becoming ensnared in an illegal trap designed to catch wild boar in northern Greece's Prespes lake district before being rescued by members of the Callisto wildlife conservation group, the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA-MPA) reported on Monday.
The bear, which is estimated to be around 3-4 years old, was spotted on the outskirts of the Lefkona hamlet two weeks ago by a farmer who initially thought it was sleeping but alerted the Florina forestry service after seeing it in the same place four days later. The rescue operation took place on December 28 and was carried out by a team of experts from Callisto, in temperatures of -10 degrees Celsius.
“The animal was tranquilized and as we approached it, we realized that it had been caught in a makeshift wire snare. It was so sharp, it nearly cut the animal in two as it became caught in its stomach, inflicting a major injury,” Giorgos Mertzanis, Callisto's scientific supervisor, told the ANA-MPA, adding that its took 100 stitches to close the wound.
The bear was freed after undergoing the procedure at the scene and is said to have made a full recovery. This was the fourth incident in a year of a bear becoming trapped in an illegal snare.