Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 1 December 2020

Brown bear spotted in Spanish national park for the first time in 150 years

A film crew captured footage of the unexpected visitor to Invernadeiro national park

A production company filming in the Invernadeiro national park in Ourense, Spain, has captured images of the first brown bear to be sighted in the area for about 150 years.

Zeitun Films, a Spanish production company with a focus on artistic cinema, set up cameras in the park in Galicia to film its latest project, Montana ou Morte (Mountain or Death). But in the interim, it captured an unexpected visitor.

The male bear, believed to be between 3 and 5 years old, is seen happily scavenging for food, unperturbed by the heavy rainfall drenching its fur. It was filmed in various settings, at night and during the day and, in one night scene, was seen enthusiastically scratching itself against the trunk of a tree.

Brown bears have been a protected species in Spain since 1973.

While Invernadeiro, which covers 6,000 hectares, is home to wolves, wild mountain cats, chamois, deer and boars, this is believed to be the first time a brown bear has been spotted in the area in about 150 years.

The brown bear is very timid and avoids humans. It lives in a few small parts of Spain's Cantabrian Mountains. It once roamed the entire Iberian peninsula, but is now considered an endangered species.

Unexpected wildlife sightings have become increasingly commonplace after the world went into lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic. Pink flamingos have flourished in lagoons in Albania, goats have invaded cities in Wales, dugongs have returned to Thailand’s Hat Chao Mai National Park and cougars were found wandering the streets of Santiago, Chile.

A pod of dolphins were spotted close to the Dubai shore on Sunday for the first time since 2013. Courtesy - Loïc Cordelle
A pod of dolphins were spotted close to the Dubai shore for the first time since 2013. Courtesy - Loïc Cordelle

In the UAE, bottlenose dolphins have been spotted off the Dubai shoreline for what is believed to be the first time since 2013.

“No noise, no boats and no construction work has allowed these beautiful creatures to visit the shores and enjoy the quietness,” says Ada Natoli, founder of the UAE Dolphin Project.

Updated: May 4, 2020 04:07 PM

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