Douillous, the runaway bear cub, returned to the wild

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Brown bear cubs usually stay with their mother for around two and a half years. CC/Janko Ferlic/Pexels

A bear cub who escaped while being treated at a medical centre in the French Pyrenees – but was later recaptured after being chased through the countryside – has been returned to the wild.

The cub, named Douillous, was five months old when he was found in June, wandering without his mother near the village of Couflens. He was malnourished, anaemic and had not yet been weaned.

A medical examination showed he was born last winter, and was in a weakened state after becoming lost, weighing just over 8 kilograms.

The National Office for Hunting and Wildlife (ONCFS) confirmed that Douillous had been found safe and sound.ONCFS

Douillous was being rehabilitated at a facility licensed to keep wild animals when he escaped by digging a small tunnel beneath the concrete of his enclosure. He was caught a few days later.

Wildlife authorities in Occitanie said on Saturday that Douillous had been returned to his natural environment, but did not give a precise location.

The French Pyrenees is home to a population of about 50 bears, who have drawn the ire of local farmers following attacks on sheep.

Source: RFI