According to Live Science, a “highly predatory” brown bear woke up from hibernation, and his first mission?
Kill 38 reindeer.
The 13-year-old female brown bear killed 38 reindeer calves in only a month, then 18 young moose the next month in northern Sweden.
The bear was one of 15 bears examined by researchers in an effort to better understand how they use their landscape.
They discovered that the bears change habitats to target reindeer and moose calves in the springtime, with some bears, like the 13-year-old female, killing more than others.
Study co-author Uzal Fernandez, a senior lecturer in wildlife conservation at Nottingham Trent University in the United Kingdom, weighed in on why some bears are more predatory than others:
“It must be a combination of different factors… such as innate behavior related to personality (for instance, some people are more aggressive than others).”
Bears aren’t nearly as effective hunting larger adult prey, so they prey on the weaker, younger, and more vulnerable animals. They focus on hunting calves until July, and then rely on berries for food until hibernation season.
“Our study shows differences between individual bears’ predatory behavior and how this helps to explain individual variation in their habitat selection.
Differences among individuals are also important from a management perspective; for instance, mere predator removal, without targeting specific individuals, may not necessarily reduce conflict.”
Although there have been a number of brown bears that are way more predatory than others, the study says that they are not anymore of a threat to humans.