Thursday, March 4

The Sarousse bear shot by a hunter in the Pyrenees

A brown bear (photo illustration). – WHITEWOLF / SIPA

  • The Sarousse bear was shot on Sunday by a hunter on the Spanish side of the Pyrenees.
  • Now 21, the Slovenian bear was released in 2006 in Arbas, Haute-Garonne.
  • This is the third bear to die this year at human hands in the French Pyrenees.

Close to Aragonese authorities, the hunter mentioned self-defense. This Sunday, while participating in a wild boar hunt in the Spanish Pyrenean valley of Bardaji, in the sector of
Ribagorza, in the north-east of Aragon, a man fired on the Sarousse bear.

According to journal Heraldo, he would have screamed to scare him, but the animal would have advanced towards him until he used his weapon, three times. The Civil Guard, the Spanish version of the gendarmerie, was notified and opened an investigation.

For its part, the Aragonese government has indicated that the autopsy will be carried out by its technicians as of Monday to confirm the causes of the death of the plantigrade.

Now aged 21, Sarousse is a Slovenian bear released in Arbas, Haute-Garonne, in 2006. She quickly lost her radio collar and was captured before being released at altitude.

For several years, it moved between the French Luchonnais and the Spanish Val d’Aran, on both sides of the Pyrenees, before moving about thirty kilometers to the south in 2010. Since then, it has is set in Aragon according to the Adet-Pays de l’ours association.

Three bears died this year

Since the start of the year, this is the third bear to die in the Pyrenees. In the spring, a plantigrade was shot dead in Ariège, near Ustou. The author of the shots has so far never been found. The second is Cachou, found dead poisoned in the Spanish Val d’Aran. Since then, an environmental officer has been arrested in this case, suspected of being the cause of the death of the 5-year-old bear.

Plantigrade defense associations called last week for the two bears, who had already died non-accidentally this year, to be replaced. This new loss will be one more argument for new reintroductions.

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