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Bear (Ursus arctos)

The bear never had the same grim reputation as the wolf, though it has the resources to be much more dangerous. Once you notice, however, footprints of the bear in your home territory, you are liable to develop the “bear shivers”.

The bear constitutes a definite element in our culture, in our fairy tales and popular belief. There are hundreds of places in our country, that have the word “bear” in their geographical names. We talk about a “bear service” a “bear hug” or “strong as a bear”. The thieves in Donald Duck stories are called “the bear gang”, a strong sewing thread becomes “bear thread”, a strong adhesive becomes the commercial name “Bear adhesive”. “Bear” (Björn) has always been a common (mans) first name.

The bear was never exterminated totally, but was hunted and killed to such an extent that it appeared only in small parts of remotely situated areas of the country. Around 1930 hardly a total of 130 bears lived in Sweden, dispersed in isolated existence on Sånfjället in Härjedalen and in the mountainous areas of Västerbotten and Norrbotten. The bear then was placed under protection and hunting the bear was rigorously limited by law for some decennia, which made the strain of bears grow substantially again.