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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 March 2007, 14:49 GMT 15:49 UK
Battle over Bruno the bear's body
By Steve Rosenberg
BBC News, Berlin

Bruno the bear, 25 June 06

A diplomatic row has broken out between Germans and Italians over a bear shot dead by Bavarian hunters last summer.

Rome is demanding Bruno the bear back, claiming he is Italian state property.

But despite a request from the German government, the Bavarian state environment minister is refusing to hand the brown bear's body over.

Bruno wandered from Italy to Germany via Austria and was gunned down after eating 30 sheep, four rabbits and a guinea pig.


Bruno took a tragic wrong turn in becoming the first brown bear to have been spotted in Germany for 170 years.

Bavarian hunters ended his life - but not the story.

Nine months on, the Italians are demanding Bruno's body back. All 100kg of it.

But the Bavarians have blown the idea that Bruno is Italian state property out of the water.

As far as they are concerned, since Bruno died on Bavarian soil - the carcass is theirs to keep.

They plan to stuff him and put him on display in a local museum.

Germany's federal government tried to intervene on the side of the Italians.

But the Bavarians will not budge.

As for the late bear himself, as long as Bruno's fate remains unclear, he will remain in a freezer somewhere in Bavaria.


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