Czech police confirm presence of bear in Moravia, issue warning

A bear sighting by a hiker near Zlín on Saturday has been confirmed by the presence of tracks as police issue a warning to those traveling in the area. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 12.05.2024 13:52:00 (updated on 13.05.2024) Reading time: 2 minutes

The confirmation of a bear's presence in the outskirts of Zlín has raised concerns among locals after a hiker recounted a startling encounter with the animal on Saturday. Local police verified the presence of a bear after discovering tracks on Sunday and have issued a warning for those in the area.

The bear encounter on Saturday occurred near the heavily-frequented Pasekářská tourist trail in the Želechovické paseky nature park, causing alarm among hikers visiting the area and local residents alike. The hiker described the bear as an adult measuring approximately 180 centimeters when standing on its hind legs.

"They were about ten meters apart, but then he ran away," Pavel Janík from Zlín Municipal Police told in describing Saturday's encounter. "We are not looking for the bear or trying to capture it. But there is the [tourist trail] nearby, so we just want to draw the attention of the public, who often go there on trips with children."

According to Janík, the encounter is the first time that a bear has been reported in Zlín or its surroundings in recent memory.

On Sunday, tracks confirming the bear's presence were found in the area by a hunter. Based on the size of the tracks, police estimate that the bear could weigh up to 200 kilograms, prompting a safety advisory from the city.

Despite not actively pursuing the bear, authorities have issued a warning for those traveling outdoors in the area, urging caution to those frequenting forested areas and advising pet owners to keep their animals leashed.

Bear tracks near Zlín. Photo: MP Zlín
Bear tracks near Zlín. Photo: MP Zlín

"Considering the nature of the notification received, we therefore warn the public of the possible risk of unexpected and unwanted contact with this massive beast," writes Zlín Municipal Police on their official website.

"Be extra careful when moving in forested areas, avoid confusing and densely overgrown places, and if you have a dog with you, always keep it on a leash. It goes without saying that a charged mobile phone should also be available so that one can call for help in case of need."

Residents of Zlín are also urged to report any further bear sightings to authorities. The presence of the bear underscores the importance of wildlife management and public safety measures in areas where human and animal habitats intersect.

The Czech bear encounter comes amidst reports of increased human-bear encounters in neighboring Slovakia this spring. In March, a bear attack in Liptovský Mikuláš resulted in five injuries, prompting the town to declare a state of emergency. Just days earlier, a 31-year-old Belarussian woman died from injuries sustained during a fall while running from a brown bear in the Low Tatra mountains.

Would you like us to write about your business? Find out more