Bear chases 200 sheep over cliff edge to their deaths

Bear chases 200 sheep over cliff edge to their deaths
PHOTO: Pixabay

More than 200 sheep have fallen to their deaths after apparently being chased down a gorge in the Pyrenees by a brown bear, officials said Monday.

Bears were re-introduced along the Franco-Spanish border 20 years ago, and the latest incident in the French region of Couflens follows a spate of bear attacks last year.

"The tragic deaths of 209 sheep following a bear attack... reminds us, even at the height of summer, that the presence of bears can cause significant damage to herds of sheep, cows and horses," said a statement from the prefecture.

It added that an investigation into the attack was ongoing and that the owner of the sheep would be compensated.

Across the border in Spain, the Catalan regional authorities told AFP that the bear in question originated in France, as all bears in northern Spain have been fitted with GPS tracking devices.

Many of the sheep's bodies ended up at the bottom of the ravine on the Spanish side of the border.

Last October, around 70 sheep farmers in the Pyrenees region held a protest after some flocks were attacked by bears.

Brown bears can weigh up to 250 kilogrammes (550 pounds) and reach two metres (6' 6") in height, but officials say there has been no significant rise in attacks in the region despite an increase in population.

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