Wild bear filmed by young boy in French Pyrenees

A nine-year-old boy has filmed a rare video of a wild bear from just 80m away, which he saw when walking with his father in the Pyrenees.

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Tanaan was walking with his father, Jean-Louis Orengo, in the mountains above Seix, near Saint-Lizier (Ariege, Occitanie) on Sunday June 16, when they saw a rare thing: a wild bear, calmly exploring less than 100m away.

The young boy quickly started filming. Father and son stayed for a few hours to observe the animal, during which time the bear appeared calm and did not trip, become aggressive, or run.

In the video, Tanaan can be heard talking to his father about the bear, including: “I have him on video,” “He is eating grass!”, “He is so beautiful”, and “Wow, it’s magnificent.”

Later they also saw another bear from around 1km away.

They had an advantage: Mr Orengo has been tracking bears in the Pyrenees for 30 years. He is the founder of a three-hectare animal park in Saint-Lizier, which is dedicated to “ichnology” - the science of understanding animal tracks and fossil traces.

The duo had originally planned to help Tanaan to take photos of Pyrenees goats, “as I had never taken their photo before”, but ended up with images of a far rarer sight.

Tanaan said: “It is bizarre to meet the rarest animal in our Pyrenees, it was very, very impressive.”

On the question of how the animal had stayed so calm, the boy said: “It is the same for all animals, they only attack when you get too close to their little ones.”

Although meeting a bear in the mountains is extremely rare, in April experts issued a guide on what to do if you come across one.

Bears in the Pyrenees are relatively controversial: Animal activists are often keen to introduce more animals and allow them to thrive, but local farmers have previously shared concerns over the impact the bears have on crops and livestock.

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