First Sight Of Bears Awoken From Winter Hibernation
This is the footage of two playful young bears gnawing and nibbling each other in the snow after waking from hibernation in the first sighting in the Pyrenees this year.
The brown bears (Ursus arctos) were filmed by hidden cameras in the north-eastern Spanish mountainous region of the Catalan Pyrenees as part of the PirosLife nature project.
Footage shows the bears in an unspecified part of the Pyrenees, intended to keep their habitat safe from unwanted visitors, playing in the mountain snow.
According to official sources, the brown bears in the video are between two and three years old and appear to be in a healthy state after waking up from hibernation.
The PirosLife organisation, which aims to manage bear populations in the Pyrenees and strengthen their long-term conservation through coordinated action with the local authorities, said it was the first sighting they have recorded this year.
PirosLife team members reported that around 40 bears were detected in the Pyrenees region in 2018, three less than those documented the year previously.
Among the 40 bears, five were born in 2018 and three were mothered by female bear Nheu. The bear Chataigne gave birth to the other two, although one of them reportedly ended up dying.
In total, three bears have been reported as missing over the last few years, one of Chataigne’s cubs disappeared last year, a bear called Gribouille which has not been seen since 2016, and the male Pyros, which has been missing since April 2017.
Pyros was considered the dominant male in the area for over 20 years. He had 55 descendents, including 30 offspring.
In order to break Pyros’ dominance, the Catalan authorities released male brown bear Goiat from Slovenia into the area in 2016.
Goiat, who is monitored with a GPS collar, has not yet woken from hibernation, according to local media.