Obviously some people are playing soldier in the Pyrenees. The mere fact that a paper in the UK reports about this hostility against bears is very threatening. IBF is in the the middle of a proces that should lead to a peaceful co-existence of man and bear. We are going to try to facilitate a dialogue.

This videograb made from a handout video shows alleged hooded hunters posing with rifles.

FROM: CREDIT:AFP/GETTY IMAGES
David Chazan, PARIS, 16 September 2017

A group of armed and masked men have issued a video in which they vow to start hunting bears in France’s Pyrenees mountains following attacks on sheep.
Brown bears, a protected species, were blamed for the deaths of about 450 sheep who tumbled over cliffs while being chased by bears in two separate incidents this summer.
The threat to hunt them marks an escalation of a bitter dispute between farmers and conservationists over the predators. They were re-introduced into south-western France from Slovenia in the 1990s after hunters had all but wiped out native Pyrenean bears.
The video, filmed outdoors at night and sent to news organisations, shows about 30 men holding shotguns or hunting rifles, their faces hidden by balaclavas.

A deliberately distorted voiceover says: “By introducing Slovenian bears and establishing a nursery allowing them to multiply, the French state is implementing land management policies that are gradually restricting access by men and women of the mountains and their freedom to work.”
The voiceover adds: “The state has remained deaf to the requests of our elected representatives, our citizens’ and trade organisations. We have decided to reopen bear hunting in Ariège [the local area] and to conduct active resistance against agents of the state.”
The video, which concludes with shots fired in the air, comes three weeks after farmers were accused of firing about 50 rounds to intimidate wildlife officials visiting the area to assess how many sheep the bears had killed.

The government pays compensation for livestock killed, but many farmers say they can no longer co-exist with a bear population estimated at 39.
A local group is campaigning for many of the beasts to be returned to Slovenia, with others restricted to a reserve so that livestock could graze in a “no-bear zone” without fear of attack.

The authorities are taking the video seriously and prosecutors have opened an investigation.
The local Préfecture described the threat to resume bear hunting as a “pathetic drift into violence and illegality.”
It added in a statement: “Play-acting as a terrorist organisation is not a joke. It harms all those who defend the development of rural and mountain territories.”

Man versus bear; problems in the Pyrenees.