Nearly 170 ewes have been found dead in a summer pasture in southwestern France after throwing themselves into the void, breeders pointing the responsibility to the bear, while defenders of the plantigrade point out the lack of evidence.
“There is no doubt, 168 sheep throwing themselves into the void, there must be something behind them that pushes them,” the president of the Pastoral Federation of the department told AFP on Tuesday. Ariège, Alain Servat.
“We didn't know about the rocks before the presence of the bear”, he assured.
For him, the only solution is that the French State “take a decision today saying 'cohabitation (with the bear) is no longer possible'”.
“How many more tragedies before real solutions are offered to us?” Lamented the Association for the Protection of the Heritage of Ariège-Pyrénées (ASPAP) on its Facebook page, posting photos of dozens of dead sheep.< /p>
Same indignation on the side of the president of the department of Ariège, where the majority of the bears of the Pyrenees.
“I am angry because the daily work of our breeders is undermined by a state that is deaf to calls for help,” wrote Christine Téqui on her Facebook page.
The day after the excavation, which occurred on Sunday, teams from the French Office for Biodiversity carried out on-site observations.
“In most of the excavations, for 20 years, the results show that there is no indication of predation by the bear”, affirms for his part Alain Reynes, the director of the association Pays de l'ours- Adet.
“Anything can bring down a herd, a dog, a boar, a storm… But there is only if it's the bear, or if we let to think that it is the bear, that it will be compensated (…) even in the absence of indices of predation”, he adds, deploring the “perversity of the system”.
< p>Many breeders, hunters and local elected officials are opposed to the presence of the bear in the Pyrenees, defended by the State and associations for the defense of biodiversity.
While the plantigrade had practically disappeared from this mountain range, a program to reintroduce brown bears from Slovenia was initiated in the 1990s.
Today, there are around 70 of them, according to the French authorities, particularly in the center of the Pyrenees, in Ariège on the French side, in the Aran Valley on the Spanish side.
Katrine Johns has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Gal Post, Katrine Johns worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my email@example.com 1-800-268-7128