Pensioner shoots bear dead after it tears off part of his leg

A pensioner has shot dead a brown bear after it attacked and tore a part of his leg off. The incident happened in southwestern France as the man was hunting for wild boar. 

The 70-year-old fired his rifle twice in self-defence, killing the female bear instantly. Once free of the animal he was airlifted to hospital where he remains in serious condition. The authorities in France have ordered an investigation into the incident which occurred on Saturday afternoon near Seix, in Ariege, towards the southwest of the country. 

The new site La Depeche spoke to a member of the local hunting association who said: “I was a little further away, I didn’t see what was happening but I heard the call on the radio. The bear attacked him and grabbed his leg, he tore his calf off and injured him in the other leg too. One person managed to stop the bleeding until the arrival of help.”

“It doesn’t surprise me”, he added, “They are coming closer and closer because there is nothing left to eat in the mountains. But he shot him only for the sake of himself.”

The area has been subject to debate over the reintroduction of brown bears to the Pyrenees. In last years census, 64 of the animals were counted. Farmers believe the bears pose a threat to their livestock and critics argue that the bear’s contact with people is increasing due to a lack of food for them in the hills. 

Across the local media, there have been many reports of bears taking livestock. Between January and October of 2021, the number of animals killed or thought to be killed by bears stands at 625 sheep, 16 cattle, 17 horses and a dog.

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Written by

Claire Gordon


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