A bear drags its paw, associations want it to be treated

He pitches, advances painfully, carefully avoiding putting down his left hind leg. A visibly injured Pyrenean bear was filmed by an amateur on April 16 in the Spanish enclave of Val d’Aran, very close to the French border. According to Alain Reynes, director of the Pays de l’ours – Adet association, “we cannot be 100% sure, but it could be Nere a 25-year-old male bear, born in the massif to Slovenian “parents” and who seems to be fulfilling his breeding role well.

Is the bear suffering from an accidental injury, illness? To find out, you would have to approach it. And if the friends of the plantigrades have obtained the assurance that the specialized technicians of the French Office for Biodiversity have set up “a particular observation protocol”, they remain worried about the lame animal. And above all, they take the opportunity to ask where the “bear in difficulty” protocol is, a procedure on which they were consulted in 2017 and of which they have not had any news since. “When a bear is injured, who does what? Can we cure it? What is the intervention protocol? asks Alain Reynes, who considers “the French state is powerless compared to other countries” in such circumstances.

Other protocols when the bears are in too good shape

The associations note with bitterness that when it comes to setting up a scaring squad or placing a “problem” bear under surveillance, such as the restless Goiat, the procedures are indeed there and the means committed “considerable “. They would like the same to take care of plantigrades in distress. “The probability of needing a protocol increases with the bear population, all the more valuable since the State has decided to stop reintroductions”, underlines Alain Reynes.

A new bear prefect, Denis Olagnon, is due to take office on Monday, May 2. He’ll have a hot folder on his desk.

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