PROTESTERS have been marching in south-west towns including Toulouse against the planned introduction of a new bear to the western Pyrenees.
Anti-bear federation ADDIP believes the animals are dangerous to livestock and people. They add, in any case releasing one will not help the viability in France of the species, which they say is not threatened internationally.
Five brown bears were introduced from Slovenia in 2006 to boost the native population, which was dying out. More bears were promised.
“We want to keep the mountains alive, not for them to be a place you can’t go or keep livestock because there are too many bears,” said ADDIP member Elodie Amilhat. The introduction of one female this summer does not either satisfy those who support the bears on biodiversity grounds. There are only about 20, not enough to ensure they thrive .