Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The legendary ursine Lothario

Or, as he is known in Spain, Pyros.

Bear management experts in Spain imported a male brown bear from Slovenia to the Pyrenees in order to enhance reproduction opportunities for the endangered bear population, but the bear they got, named Pyros, was simply too good with the ladies.

Now, about three quarters of all the young bears roaming about the Pyrenees are his offspring!  

But could this be any surprise to the bureaucrats?  He stands seven feet tall on his hind legs, and weighs 500 pounds.  What a bear!  Even by Alaskan standards, he'd be a contender.

Wildlife officials in Spain now say they want to introduce a new male bear onto Pyros’s domain, in the name of genetic diversity. That is providing ammunition not only for critics, who say the interloper’s arrival would be an affront to Pyros, but also for skeptics, who say he doesn’t stand a chance.

Thanks to his virility, Pyros may be the only bear anywhere with his own groupies. Spanish Pyros fans started a Twitter account under his name identifying him as the “father of all the bears.” French public television dubbed him “the stud of the Pyrenees” and a French newspaper likened him to Casanova.

A couple of years ago, Pyrenean officials did broach the idea of castrating Pyros. That trial balloon attracted media interest beyond scientific journals. “Randy bear faces the snip,” blared the headline in the U.K tabloid, Metro.

The proposal was dropped as being excessively cruel—as well as impractical, given the difficulty of capturing him.

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