By John Ensor •
Published: 21 Sep 2023 • 20:48
Stock image of Spanish Mastine.
Credit: Mondarruego2011/Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0
Two British tourists recently found out the pitfalls of hiking in the Pyrenees after they were surrounded by Spanish guard dogs.
On Monday, September 18, in Tavascan, Lladorre in Catalonia, the emergency services were alerted around 2:22 pm. Given the challenging terrain in the heart of the Pyrenees, a helicopter was promptly dispatched. However, the hikers were not in danger from the elements or terrain, as one would normally expect.
Instead, the two 49-year-old British hikers had come across aggressive Spanish Mastines during their trek in the area known as the Aprisco del Prat, according to a report from Segre.
Upon reaching the location, the rescue team witnessed the dogs menacingly encircling the women. Using the helicopter’s movements, the rescuers managed to disperse the dogs. The team then descended to assist the terrified tourists. One of the women had suffered a bite on her leg and received immediate treatment.
Both women were deeply shaken by the incident. After the rescue, the helicopter transported them to the Pleta car park. An ambulance awaited their arrival, ready to take them to the Hospital del Pallars in Tremp, Lerida, for more comprehensive care.
The Spanish Mastine is a fiercely protective, giant Spanish breed and is believed to date back to 2000 years B.C. A distinguishing feature of this ancient breed is that they often possess double dew claws.
The Mastine was used by herdsmen as far back as medieval times. Originally bred to be a guard dog to protect livestock such as sheep and cows from wolves and other predators, males can often weigh up 70 kilograms (approximately 11 stones).
While the picturesque landscapes of Tavascan are undoubtedly a huge draw for tourists, visitors are advised to exercise caution. The recent British tourists rescued serve as a stark reminder of the regions unpredictable nature.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
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