Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Spain launches ranger patrols to protect villages from once-nearly extinct giant bears

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Spain’s Iberian brown bear population, once nearly extinct, has rebounded so strongly that ranger patrols have been set up to deter them from entering small villages in northern Spain.

According to the report, the Castilla and León state government has arranged for a patrol of nine rangers to protect residents and crops in the mining town of Villabrino in Palencia department and surrounding areas.

Their mission is to keep endangered sumacs safe and healthy while allowing human populations to coexist with them.

If local residents spot a bear weighing between 330 and 550 pounds and over 6.5 feet long, they are asked to remain calm and call rangers’ 24-hour line for help.

Bears weigh between 330 and 550 pounds and grow over 6.5 feet tall. Reuters

The rangers are armed with radios, rubber ball shotguns and tracking devices and fire warning shots to clear the village of animals.

Angeles Olaro, 73, tries to keep bears out of his vegetable garden.

“It’s sad that we can’t go out for a quiet walk because we are elderly,” she lamented. .

Residents are asked to call patrol if they spot a bear. Reuters

Thirty years ago there were only 60 bears left in Spain, but today there are 400.

“Increasing bear populations lead to increased conflicts with humans,” said Patrol Coordinator Daniel Pinto.

In 2021, a team of veterinarians, biologists and mountain rangers developed a satellite system to monitor animals.

So far, rangers have captured 12 bears. Reuters

Once the bear is captured, it is anesthetized and fitted with a GPS collar, making it easier to locate it in the future. So far, rangers have captured 12 bears and released them from remote villages.

The increase in bears has already boosted tourism in the area as people visit the area to catch a glimpse of bears in the wild.

with post wire




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