The Villarina bear, located with a calf, eight years after being released

The Villarina bear, located with a calf, eight years after being released

Villarina, the cub released in the mountains of the Somiedo Natural Park eight years ago, after spending several months in captivity to recover from the injuries caused by a run over, has been found with a calf in an area of ​​very difficult access.

As reported by the Fund for the Protection of Wild Animals (Fapas), it was known that Villarina had perfectly survived the reintroduction work after being returned to nature in 2008, but until now it had not been possible to verify that it had had offspring.

This summer, during the location and control of a bear accompanied by a calf in a very difficult forest area, it was found that it was Villarina.

According to FAPAS, the bear could have already reproduced in previous years, but given the terrain it uses and the presence of other nearby females that also have young, it could have gone unnoticed during all these years or confused with other females.

Successful reintroduction of cubs

For the conservation organization, identifying this specimen with cubs closes an important cycle in the conservation of the brown bear, as it is the first time that small brown bear cubs have been successfully reintroduced into nature.

The orographic characteristics of the bear habitat in Asturias and its proximity to inhabited high mountain areas where the food that bears can obtain abounds, possibly have led to this readaptation of Villarina to nature, since in recent years, it has been seen frequently feed on fruits in these environments, according to Fapas.

Villarina was the first brown bear on the European continent to adapt to its natural environment after spending months in contact with humans in an animal recovery center.

Risky bet

The liberation of Villarina was a risky bet, since the bears that have been in contact with humans associate people with positive experiences and, therefore, do not usually hesitate to approach neighboring towns in search of food.

The surveillance and monitoring work by means of telemetry transmitters allowed for a period of time to follow the evolution of the cub on a daily basis, but as soon as it detached its control, it was only possible through sightings and photographs captured by cameras. automatic placed in the area where it moves.

On this occasion, the bear monitoring work carried out by the Principality Nursery and FAPAS have managed to photograph her with her esbardo.


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