A wounded brown bear cub attacked a hunter in Aruküla on Monday, causing the hunter to deal a fatal knife blow in self-defense. The bear had been wounded by hunters earlier on, who had shot at the three-year old animal for causing damage to a farmer's field.
A permit had been given to hunters in the Aruküla area in Harju County as a three-year old brown bear had recently caused damage to a nearby field, daily Eesti Päevaleht writes (link in Estonian).
Hunters managed to spot and loose off a shot at the bear cub Monday, wounding the animal. However, the hunters were able to follow a trail of blood which the animal left, Lillemäe noted. This behavior is actually intentional, as bears will sometimes follow a circular path in an effort to ambush those tracking their blood trail.
The young bear did indeed ambush the hunter, who is currently receiving treatment in hospital for non-fatal wounds. He had not been able to draw his firearm in time but was able instead to grab a hunting knife, dealing a fatal blow to the 75-kilogram bear that way.
Lillemäe added that while the hunter was saved by his calm demeanor in the face of danger, he was lucky the bear was young, rather than a full-grown 200-kilogram beast.
Brown bears reach sexual maturity around age 4-6 years.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste