An autopsy on a female bear found dead in central Sweden has revealed that she was killed by a faulty tracking transmitter. According to preservationists, the unfortunate case is the first of its kind.
It was initially thought that the bear, which was discovered in Alvdalen, had fallen victim to an illegal hunt. After cutting open the animal’s stomach, however, scientists concluded that the transmitter had broken and caused a fatal infection.
“It has been operated into tens of thousands of animals around the world; in beavers, bears and a raft of other animals,” said Professor Jon Martin Arnemo in a report by The Local.
“This is the first time in the history of the Scandinavian Brown Bear Project that an implant has led to a fatality. For some reason, fluid has forced its way into the transmitter and has led to the implant corroding and caused a sharp metal wire to break free and cause injury which has led to peritonitis,” he added.
The bear was fitted with the transmitter in 2000, around a year after its birth. The device has now been removed from the body and examined by technicians.
“We lost contact with the bear two years later, which could have been due to the transmitter breaking,” said Arnemo. “In normal cases we replace a transmitter after three to five years or replace it with a GPS bracelet,” he added.