From: Associated Press
Published August 23, 2006 12:00 AM

France Winds Up Bear Repopulation Effort

PARIS — French wildlife officials released a fifth bear in the Pyrenees, the final step in a program to repopulate the region in southwestern France, the Environment Ministry said Tuesday.

Sarousse, a 247-pound, 7-year-old female bear captured in Slovenia, was released into the mountainous French region on Monday, the ministry said. The first of five bears was set free there in April.

Farmers have contested the program, fearing the bears will attack their livestock. More than 5,000 farmers ringing cowbells and setting off firecrackers protested the program in May.

After brown bears disappeared from the Pyrenees in the 1980s, authorities released three bears in the region in 1996, and one of them, Boutxi, killed 165 sheep last year.

Source: Associated Press

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