( dpa ) - Unusually mild and wet January weather has caused hibernating brown bears in Finland to wake up prematurely, STT news agency reported Sunday.
Several animals had been seen crossing roads, mainly in the country's south-east. The movement had been monitored via microchips implanted in the animals.
Only in more northerly, colder regions had no movement been registered.
Researcher Ilpo Kojola said the active bears probably had "not built their winter quarters" properly. A bear would not normally not leave its winter quarters if its bedding of earth was porous enough to prevent formation of water under the sleeping animal.
The number of bears in Finland has increased markedly, now estimated at between 800 and 900.