The Police and Border Guard Board's (PPA) South Prefecture issued a warning on Tuesday of there being an injured and potentially dangerous bear roaming the woods of Setomaa.
The bear was hit by a car in Setomaa on Monday night. Since local hunters could not trace any blood at the scene of the accident, they assessed that the bear likely has internal injuries. "Every injured animal can be dangerous to their surrounding environment," said Estonian Hunters' Society deputy chairman Andres Lillemäe on ETV's current affairs show "Ringvaade".
The hunter added that the bear will likely not survive, but people should avoid the areas near Rõsna in Setomaa municipality. "In any case, you should make a lot of noise when entering the woods now. If a bear hears the sounds of a human, they will try to get away," Lillemäe explained.
The hunter said modern traffic is the cause for why the bear was hit by a car, but also the fact that the bear population has gone up in Estonia. They used to have one or two cubs, but trail cameras now often show three or four cubs. "Bears do not have much space in the woods and they are coming out," Lillemäe said, adding that the cause for population growth could be the spread of African swine fever, which extended the bears' food base.
"Bears are apex predators and the more there are of them, the more dangerous it is for people," the hunter added. He said female bears with their cubs are most dangerous. "If a person wanders too close to a mother bear, the bear will instinctually kill," Lillemäe said.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste