Polish authorities accused tourists who wandered into the wilds of Poland of killing an 18-month-old bear, a report says.

If convicted the tourists face jail terms.

The tourists, whose number and identity were not revealed, were charged with rendering serious damage to the country's wildlife and a court could give them prison sentences ranging from 3 months to 5 years, Polish Radio said Friday.

Originally, the tourists told authorities they were attacked by the cub and killed the animal in self defense. But activists and experts of animal protection groups argued the young bear was unlikely to assault people.

The experts suggested the tourists were probably feeding the bear and when it did not want to go away they began hurling stones at the cub.

The young bear ended up injured and drowned in a forest stream, the radio said.

The report gave no details of when or where the incident occurred.