Special in Spain: Brown bear with four cubs

by Lorraine Williamson
bear cubs
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OVIEDO – For the first time in thirty years, a female bear with a nest of four cubs have been spotted in the Cantabrian mountains in northwestern Spain. The average number of young per litter has been 1.9 since 1989. 

The Brown Bear Foundation is pleased to report the fact on its Facebook page and mentions seeing the bear with four cubs as “excellent news”. It is also the first time that such a thing has been “documented in the Cantabrian Mountains”. This mountain range is located in the northwest of Spain, largely in the Asturias region. 

The unusual bear family, according to information from the foundation, “was first spotted on a road in western Cantabria by residents of the area in September. The animals, in perfect condition were later located by an agent of the region’s Bear Patrol. It was then reported to the Brown Bear foundation. 

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Bear cubs

Furthermore, the cubs can be seen with their mother bear in surveillance video footage. For the Brown Bear Foundation, these statues are “a milestone in the reproduction of Cantabrian bears”. 

The average litter size from 1989 to 2018 in the western sector of the Cantabrian Mountains was 1.9 pups. The litters so far have been between one and three cubs. However, more than half of them, 55.6%, are two cubs. 

The foundation points out that more detailed information about Cantabrian bear nests can be found in Chapter 1 of the book ‘Cantabrian Bears: Demography, Coexistence and Conservation Challenges’, which can be downloaded for free at this link (in Spanish). 

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