Tuesday, March 26, 2019
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Cantabrian Brown Bears

This last Tuesday, the 29th of January, Mike and Cato were skiing from the Piedraslenguas pass in Palencia province near the border with Cantabria. This is what they found.

 The first image shows the spread-out remains of what looks to be a cow (see second image of the skull taken by Cato) which has clearly been dug up by the scavenging bears. Carrion is an important food-source for bears in winter when fruits and berries are scarce or non-existent. These photos are also proof that females and cubs, at least, are not hibernating in the Cantabrian mountains. The third photo, though out of focus, shows bear claw marks.

bones

 

skull-cato

 

claws

 

Skinning away from the scene the skiers found the freshest bear tracks we've ever come across. In this first image you can see they were obviously a mother (the larger tracks to the left) and two yearling cubs. The canine tracks to the right which cross the bear tracks higher up belong to our Golden retriever, Jessy, and sadly not a wolf. The last photos show the prints of hind and fore paws.

3-bear-tracks

 

bear-hind-paw

 

bear-front-hind-paws

 

An exciting find!

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