The Year in Animals The Best of Two Thousand and Swine

Part 4: Circus Tragedy


In April, another case of runaway animals ended in bloodshed when a police officer shot an escaped bear. Two brown bears had managed to get out of their enclosure as a circus prepared for a performance in the western German city of Kassel. A motorist on a nearby highway saw one of the bears and informed the police. A patrol car discovered the bears next to the four-lane road. One officer stopped traffic while the second policeman attempted to shoo the bear away from the road and back toward the circus.

Photo Gallery

11  Photos
Photo Gallery: Bear Tragedy in Kassel

However, one of the bears attacked the cop and bit him twice on the left calf. The injured policeman shot the 180-kilogram (397-pound) bear five or six times with his service pistol. The circus director was sharply critical of the police action, which he described as "out of proportion."

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