August 29, 2008

Last Mount Olympus Bear Killed

The last member of a protected brown bear species living on Greece's Mount Olympus appears to have been killed, conservationists say.

Members of the environmental organization Callisto said the carcass of the bear was found at the foot of the mountain with its mouth frozen open and with suspicious wounds to its chest, Kathimerini reported Friday.

The conservationists say those physical characteristics are indicative of the animal either being shot or poisoned.

The Callisto group, which monitors protected wildlife in Greece, said the bear found Wednesday is the last of its kind in the region.

Kathimerini said the discovery of the dead animal came months after a bear's mutilated body was found in a forest near the Greek town of Elassona. The animal discovered in November had been shot and three of its paws and its lower jaw removed, the Greek newspaper said.