Asturias woke up this Monday morning with the news that a 75-year-old woman had been attacked by a brown bear when he was walking with a group of people through Cangas de Narcea. According to La voz de Asturias, it is the first attack by a bear on a human being in the region in decades. The woman suffered a broken hip and a wound to the face as a result of an encounter with the animal, which fled scared by the companions of the woman. The attack has rekindled the eternal battle between the animalists and those who bet on a greater population control of both bears and wolves. A debate that has been reactivated again as a result of this event.
The woman was surprised by the bear turning a curve and was hit by a blow. (Photo: Getty Iamges)
What has transpired from what happened this Sunday in the late afternoon is that the woman was in the town of Sonande taking a walk in the late afternoon with some friends near the town. It was when he came around a curve that he would have bumped into the animal. Then the attack occurred. Standing on its two hind legs, it struck her in the face and the woman fell to the ground, breaking her hips from the impact of the fall. According to witnesses, the animal tried to drag her, but the screams of those who were with the septuagenarian managed to drive him away.
From the aforementioned local media they insist that a fact like this is “extremely rare” and they include a study published in June 2019 on the attacks of bears on human beings around the world. Conducted by a group of international researchers led by the University of Oviedo, a total of 664 brown bears were documented to humans between 2000 and 2015, with Europe being the most recorded with a total of 291. Of the total, 14, 3% were fatal.
One of the conclusions to which the researchers is that the attacks had increased and that in most cases they responded to human behavior. In addition, in their study of the data collected they pointed out that the theory that by hunting them there would be fewer attacks did not hold since they had verified that in countries where it is allowed to hunt bears the number of attacks was similar.
After what happened, of which more details about the circumstances are unknown, the Mayor of Cangas del Narcea, José Víctor Rodríguez (PSOE), has drawn attention to the fact that bears are getting closer to populated areas. “They are becoming more human and that is a security risk,” he pointed out while recalling in recent years it has been found that they are getting closer and closer and urging that measures be taken, although he has also pointed out that the normal thing is that animals flee from contact with humans.
The attack on this woman has fanned the flame of controversy in this regard. There are citizens who have echoed the news published by local media on social networks commenting on what happened and criticizing the protection and defense of these species by animalists. Anonymous Internet users, but also political representatives, such as the President and spokesperson of Vox in the Asturian Parliament, Ignacio Blanco, who has taken the opportunity to charge against the animal policy of the left.
“A few days ago there were a mare and her foals, today a lady almost lost her life between Cibea and Sonante. The bear advances in Asturias in the face of passivity of the Counselor of Rural Affairs and the applause from Podemos and environmentalists. Enough already ”, he published after hearing the news on his Twitter profile. An argument also shared by the official account of the party in Asturias, which also wished the woman a “speedy recovery”.
In Asturias, where the bear is every institution and tourist claim, the attack registered this Sunday, however rare, has put on the table again the difficult balance in living with some species. Especially with the wolf, whose hunting was banned last February after being included in the List of Wild Species under the Special Protection Regime (LESPRE). This caused the Iberian wolf to cease to be considered a hunting species throughout the national territory, something that was still happening in some areas.
As La Vanguardia collected in its day, the situation of the wolf in Spain and its consideration varied according to the Autonomous Community in which it was found. Thus, north of the Duero River, their hunting was allowed. However, a very tight agreement by the parties involved in the vote ended it. at the proposal of the Ministry for the Ecological Transition. With nine votes in favor, 8 against and three abstentions, who were against from that protection to wolf were Castilla y León, Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria, Andalusia, Madrid, Murcia and the Basque Country.
The current wolf census on the peninsula is around 2,500 specimens. A figure far removed from the 300 in the 1960s, when the species was considered endangered. The main problem of the coexistence between the wolf and the human being lies in how the existence of the first affects the livestock sector.
According to data from the Coordinator of Organizations of Farmers and Ranchers (COAG) each year about 15,000 cattle die from attacks by wolves. One of the most affected areas in this sense is Galicia. The Xunta counted 2,400 head of cattle that died in 2020 due to wolf attacks. In Cantabria the figure would be 1,500, according to data collected by EFE.