A man has been arrested over the beating to death of an endangered brown bear that wandered into a village in north-western Iran on Sunday. Residents of Kenazaq, in Ardabil province, chased and hit the animal before using a tractor to restrain it, according to state news agency Irna. A photo from the scene showed it pinned to the ground by a tractor wheel, with its neck tied to an earth mover. Irna said the bear suffered a broken leg and pelvis and damage to its spine.
Irna reported that it was taken by environmental protection officers to a wildlife clinic, where it died from its injuries. A local prosecutor denounced the “horrible” act, which he said had upset the population. On Monday, the head of the judiciary in Ardabil announced that the “culprit” had been arrested, without identifying him, the semi-official Isna news agency said.
It is not known what, if anything, led the villagers to attack the animal.
Iran’s population of brown bears, which is concentrated in the Zagros and Alborz mountain ranges, has decreased due to habitat loss, conflict with humans and hunting.