Archive for the ‘bears’ Category

Bear cub photos

Friday, June 26th, 2009

Fapas have managed to capture some lovely photos of Villarina. the bear cub that was found alone on a road last year, and was later released back into the wild.
More on bears on the forum

Bears attracting tourists to Vall d’Aran

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

Despite all the overblown furore over the bear hunter attack in the Vall d’Aran, the occassional presence of bears is attracting increasing numbers of tourists to the valley.

Read (La Mañana)
Hvala the bear

And according to Fundación Oso Pardo president Guillermo Palomero bears are no more aggressive than wild boars.
Read (also La Mañana)

Pyrenean bear with cubs

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

Hvala, the bear at the centre of the furore last autumn after biting a hunter, has been photographed with two cubs by wardens from the Vall d’Aran. Another bear, Sarousse, which was also released in 2006, may also have cubs, and if so could spell the beginning of a rise in the Pyrenean population.

Captive bears mate

Monday, May 4th, 2009

The captive bears Paca and Furaco have finally mated after failing to do so last year. Paca has lived with her sister Tola in a mountainside enclosure for many years and both have play a great role in making bears accepted in Asturias among the general public. As I understand it any cubs are likely to have the fate, and be kept in semi-captivity.

Read in El País

More on Paca and Tola here and the story of the pairing here

Hvala awakes

Sunday, April 5th, 2009

Hvala, the bear who bit a hunter last year in the Vall d’Arán, has woken from her winter slumber. She was probably pregnant when she went into hibernation and the biologists monitoring her suspect she may have a cub or two, as she is staying in the same area (Bossòst, Vall d’Arán). Let us hope she is left in peace to raise them.
El Periodico

Bear building a den

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

Villarina the young bear which was recently released back in the wild after having been rescued as a cub has been busy recently building a den for herself as can be seen in this nice little video.

See also bear cub returned to wild

Liébana’s bears

Sunday, January 4th, 2009

Residents of the village of Caloca, high in the valley of Liébana, Cantabria, had been observing a female Cantabrian brown bear and her cub on the other side of their valley through the first half of December last. Their tranquility was broken however when a boar hunt, followed by the noisy arrival of the frozen fish van, disturbed a young male bear who was forced to find refuge and entered the village. A neighbour walked out of his front door on his way to feed his livestock and was stunned to see the animal just a couple of metres from him on the road. The peaceable young bear just carried on his way while the man quietly stood witness. Once the media got wind of the story however the village has been a hive of activity during the Christmas holidays. Members of the autonomous community’s environmental department, the Picos de Europa National Park and the Fundación Oso Pardo have been kept busy monitoring the traffic flow and ensuring that visitors don’t disturb the plantigrades whilst enjoying the priviledged views of these rare jewels of the Cantabrian mountains which, even though the snow is thick on the ground, are not hibernating and able to find enough nuts and berries to make foraging worthwhile.
Among the happy locals are the owners of the village restaurant who, I’m reliably informed, took more money in a week than they’d taken all year.

See the video here on YouTube

Bears in the snow FOP

More photos here on


Roman bear mosaic

Monday, December 1st, 2008

The symbol of Madrid represented by the bear and the strawberry tree is well known, but here’s a much earlier image showing Iberian bears liking for these arbutus cherries. The bear forms part of a C4th AD mosaic found at Villa Fortunatus in Fraga, Zaragoza, and is part of an agricultural calendar, representing the month of November. It can be seen at the Museo Provincial de Zaragoza. Sadly today, bears in Spain no longer gorge on these fruits in autumn to the extent as they did as they are largely absent from the range of the strawberry tree.

Bear cub returned to wild

Friday, November 14th, 2008

The bear cub found injured in June was released back into the wild on Tuesday in Somiedo.

Lisa notes: “The movements of her family (mother and two sisters) have been monitored closely and the release was made in the same vicinity. As nothing like this has ever happened before in the Cantabrian mountains, the outcome is far from certain although Fapas are hopeful that she’ll be accepted back into the family group. They recount the story of bear cubs orphaned in the Pyrenees and later adopted by another female bear. She’s been tagged and is carrying two radio-transmitters which they say will be lost when she moults next spring.” Read more on this by Lisa on the forum

New book on Spain’s bears

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

While we cross our fingers and hope that Hvala settles into hibernation mode before the Aranese authorities can get their hands on her, a new book has been officially launched. Titled “Osas. El comportamiento de las osas y sus crias en la Cordillera Cantábrica” (Bears. The behaviour of female brown bears and their cubs in the Cantabrian mountain chain), the book is a compilation of information garnered over ten years of study by the Fundación Oso Pardo and is accompanied by an extraordinary dvd with footage of cubs playing and the darker, natural side of bear behaviour, infanticide. Contact Fop or the Fundación Biodiversidad, who financed the project, for your free copy.


 The new book, Osas.