Pyrenees bear population rising

brown bear by a rock

A total 43 bears were confirmed as living in the Pyrenees in 2017, with experts saying the actual figure is likely to be higher

The Pyrenees bear population is increasing, with 43 brown bears spotted in 2017, two more than the previous year, according to official figures.

The Office national de la chasse et la faune sauvage said the figure of 43 was a minimum number, as a number of bears known to be roaming the mountains had not been seen and therefore not recorded in the official figures.

Meanwhile, experts believe that between six and 10 cubs will be born this year, to boost the population further; while Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot has announced plans to introduce to more female bears to the Béarn in the autumn, as part of the government's brown bear action plan for the next decade.

The new arrivals will be the first bears released into the wild on the French side of the Pyrenees since 2006.

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