RSS   Newsletter   Contact   Advertise with us

Farmers in French Pyrenees try to scare bears to Spain

Staff Writer | October 8, 2018
Farmers and hunters in the French Pyrenees have attempted to move two female bears towards the Spanish side of the border using “scare tactics”.
France bear
Europe   Two female bears were released
According to reports, this weekend around 100 shepherds, farmers, hunters, and local government members from the Ossau valley, the Hautes-Pyrénées, and the surrounding areas, met up in the mountains in an attempt to move away two female brown bears that had just been released.

The gendarmerie confirmed that “some” farmers, hunters and ministers “had started a battle of scare tactics in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques”.

Two female bears, who it is hoped will give birth in 2019, were released into the Pyrenees on Thursday and Friday.

According to the farmers, the presence of bears is not compatible with farming. Bears - whose diet is usually 70% vegetables and plants - may attack goats, and even cause dozens of animals to fall down the mountain as they try to escape if a bear is chasing them.

Jean-Pierre Chourrout-Pourtalet, mayor of Sarrance (Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Nouvelle-Aquitaine), said: “The idea is to scare the bears and the wolves and maintain movement. The idea is to make the bears go towards Spain.”

But he added: “Officially, they are just people who are setting off on a mountain walk.”

In contrast, some farmers have come out to argue for cohabitation with bears.