3rd Brown Bear From Conservation Projection Shot By Hunter This Year

Story By: Juan Mayes, Sub-Editor: Joana Mihajlovska, Agency:  Newsflash

A hunter has killed a brown bear that was reintroduced in Spain as part of conservation project making it the third such death this year as locals slam the programme after losing hundreds of sheep to the predators.

The female brown bear (Ursus arctos), affectionately named Sarousse, was shot in Bardaji Valley in the province of Huesca located in the Spanish autonomous community of Aragon on Sunday 29th November.

The news was announced by the Aragon Government in a statement on the same day saying the bear was killed by gunshot wounds and investigations are being conducted by the Nature Protection Service (Seprona). The sanctions the hunter faces are unclear.


The area Sarousse was killed is located in the Pyrenees which has always served as a natural habitat for bears, but have suffered waning numbers due to human activity.

To combat their extinction in the region, European and local Spanish and French authorities have started introducing bears from Slovenia into the Pyrenees.

Sarousse was released in France in 2006. However, the 21-year-old specimen travelled south four years later, settling into the municipality of Ribagorza in the province of Huesca where she was killed.

Her death marks the third this year after a bear named Cachou was found dead in April in Spain and another was killed near a French ski resort in June.


According to an official statement by the Aragon Government, the hunter claimed that he killed the bear out of self-defence.

Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia spoke with the hunter named Jesus, 63, who said he was hunting in an area he regularly frequents on Sundays when he was surprised by the bear. (https://bit.ly/36pvQ2M)

He said he did things by the book and everything seemed to go well as he hid at first, but after the bear noticed his presence, he claims it charged at him.

He said: “Everything happened in a matter of seconds. When the bear was about a dozen metres from me, I fired. I emptied my cartridge, three shots. Run away from there? Impossible. It was the bear or me.”

The conservation efforts to reintroduce bears has angered Spanish and French farmers who criticise the programme, claiming the bears have killed hundreds of their sheep despite authorities establishing compensation packages for livestock lost in bear attacks.

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