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Protests as French hunters held over bear killing – Expat Information to France


Lots of protested in entrance of a police station in southwest France Friday after hunters have been held over the taking pictures of a bear within the mountainous area late final 12 months.

The police investigation has incensed some locals within the distant Ariege as a result of the 70-year-old hunter suspected of taking pictures the bear mentioned he fired in self-defence.

“It’s insupportable to seek out ourselves on this place. It was the bear that attacked the hunter, and never the opposite means spherical,” native mayor Jean-Jacques Meric informed AFP on the protest within the village of Saint-Girons.

“Killing her was legit self-defence,” he added.

The hunter was taken to a neighborhood hospital after the incident, saying he had been bitten within the leg by the feminine bear, who was together with her cubs.

The protest is the newest standoff between locals and French authorities over the reintroduction of brown bears into the Pyrenees mountains because the Nineties.

Six males have been detained for questioning in Saint-Girons earlier this week and one other two have been known as in by the police on Friday morning.

“We’ve bought nothing in opposition to bears. We do have one thing in opposition to the state, which ought to do its job,” mentioned Meric, who can also be a hunter. “These detentions are stunning. They’re treating them like criminals.”

Police say they’re obliged to analyze the killing of a protected species and are in search of to test if the hunters have been in an authorised space final November after they encountered the bear.

The killing of a protected species is punishable by a most three years in jail and a wonderful of 150,000 euros ($170,000).

Bears had almost disappeared from the Pyrenees when France started importing them from Slovenia in japanese Europe within the Nineties.

A number of bears have been shot or poisoned lately, whereas farmers regularly exhibit to demand inhabitants management due to assaults on their livestock — for which they’re compensated by the state.

When two new bears have been helicoptered in in 2018, farmers blocked roads and scattered bloody sheep stays in entrance of a city corridor within the Bearn area to protest.

The pinnacle of the Ariege area, Christine Tequi, criticised the “duty of the state” over the newest incident.

“That is going to occur once more. This time there was somebody injured. The subsequent time somebody will die,” she mentioned on the protest, calling for the bear inhabitants — estimated at round 60 — to be regulated.

Activists see bears as integral to preserving a fragile mountain ecosystem which is underneath risk from human exercise and local weather change.

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