Pyrénées: A Bear Immortalized on a Ridge at 2,800 Metres above Sea Level

Local News
The bear surprised at the top of a mountain in the Hautes-Pyrénées, April 4, 2020

NATURE: Freelance photographer Nathan Birrien recounts his “encounter” with a bear who walked at 2,800 meters above sea level on Saturday in the Hautes-Pyrénées

  • A freelance photographer, Nathan Birrien photographed a bear on a ride on the commune of Azet, in the Hautes-Pyrénées, at 2,800 meters above sea level.
  • It is probably Goiat, a male from Slovenia introduced in 2016 on the Spanish side of the massif.

Snow-capped mountains, a clear blue sky on which the dark silhouette of a bear stands out. “This is the most unexpected photo I have taken,” says Nathan Birrien.  Seeing him walking alone on the ridge was unique. And it happened near his home. Saturday at the end of the day, in the town of Azet, in the Hautes-Pyrénées.

“I found myself in the right place at the right time,” says the 24-year-old freelance photographer. Through a few sources, I learned of the likely presence of a bear. I was fortunate enough to be able to observe it for an hour. ”

On telephoto, Nathan Birrien immortalized this interlude of grace at the heart of macabre news. This specialist in mountain landscapes in all seasons, also a drone pilot, then shared his photos, which were nicely received on social networks.

Goiat spotted two days earlier nearby

The Pyrenean hero of the weekend continued his journey, far from the human issues of confinement. But who is he, by the way? “It is rarely possible to identify a bear from a photo, let alone at this distance,” says Alain Reynes, head of the Pays de l’Ours-Adet association. It seems however that it is about Goiat, which is one of the rare to be located because equipped with a GPS collar. ”

This male born in 2006 in Slovenia had been seen Thursday in the town of Génos, bordering Azet, as indicated Info Pyrenees Bear, the official site of the State.

Released in June 2016 on the Spanish side, in Catalonia, Goiat is controversial because several attacks against horses are attributed to him. He is thus suspected of having killed several animals in 2019, notably in the Louron and Barousse valleys. Classified as a “problem bear”, many opponents of the plantigrade demand its removal from the massif where more than forty specimens are present.

Before Goiat (if it is him), it was Sorita who had been seen on March 25th in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques, in the Aspe valley. This Slovenian female, released in Béarn in 2018 with her sister Claverina, was walking without a bear by her side, coming out of the hibernation phase.

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