On the trail of brown bears in Sweden

Chris Zacharia heads to Dalarna to track Sweden’s elusive brown bears

Tuesday 10 March 2020 18:25 GMT
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The habits of brown bears can teach us a lot
The habits of brown bears can teach us a lot

I’m standing on a drenched and steaming hillside. Behind me are moss-covered boulders; in front, a steep drop to swampy marshland. My legs are aching and my clothes are soaked.

Below, our team is gathered around the muddy banks, listening for a radio signal amid mosquito swarms. One of our bears, Tando, is missing, presumed dead. Was he killed by another bear? A moose? Or is this a grizzly murder by an unscrupulous hunter?

With one hand, Dr Andrea Friebe, our chief scientist, is waving a large antenna in slow, sweeping gestures. Her other hand holds a receiver to her ear, listening for the beeping pulse of the missing bear’s transponder. Andrea’s telemetry confirms what we’re all thinking: whatever remains of Tando is in that bog.

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