The parquet floor of Foix, in Ariège, on Friday, November 26, 2021, opened a judicial investigation against X “for the crime of destruction of a protected species” after the attack of a hunter by a bear, who then shot dead with his rifle in the town of Seix on November 20.

An investigation is also open for “hunting tickets in a game and wildlife reserve, as well as hunting on the land of others without consent”, adds Léa Filippi, deputy prosecutor of Foix, in a conference of hurry.

Because the encounter between the hunter and the bear was made during a beaten, partly located on the national reserve of Valier. This is subject to restrictions on hunting rights and is governed by the French Office for Biodiversity. In short: hunters were not allowed to be on these places. Violations of the Environmental Code are thus likely to be noted.

Investigations are continuing, under the authority of the examining magistrate, to shed light on the circumstances of the attack, more particularly on the actions of the wounded hunter and the beaten.

This is the first serious accident involving a man since the start of the bear reintroduction campaign in the Pyrenees 25 years ago. This was enough to rekindle the already fierce war between opponents and defenders of the bear. For the former, cohabitation with the animal is impossible and threatens Ariège pastoralism.

According to bear advocates, “we must work on cohabitation, any other speech is irresponsible,” said Alain Reynes. The director of the Pays de l’ours association – Adet explains: “The current problem is that the bear population in France, which is the smallest in Europe, is not viable”.

To (hope) facilitate dialogue between all stakeholders, a delegated prefect in charge of “bear” issues in the Pyrenees Mountains was appointed by the Occitanie prefecture on November 23.