Jaw-dropping moment mother bear defends her cub in death fight with 500lb male before they both tumble off steep rocky cliff with her rival dying before she vanishes
- WARNING: DISTRESSING CONTENT
- The female bear was protecting her cub as a male bear attacked her near the Peña de Santa Lucía rock formations by Pineda Valley and the Curavacas Peak
- They both fell down from a great height within seconds, killing the 217kg male
- Female brown bear survived the attack and fall, found in a narrow cave below
This is the incredible moment a female bear survived falling down a cliff after she was attacked by a male bear while protecting her cub.
Filmed in the Montaña Palentina Natural Park in the northern Spanish region of Palencia on 6 June, the female bear was seen fighting with the male bear near the Peña de Santa Lucía rock formations between the Pineda Valley and the Curavacas Peak.
The male bear began to attack her as she defended her calf, but within seconds they both dropped down the cliffside from a great height.
The pair land with a thump on the ground, and while the male bear remains close to where he fell to, the female bear continues to fall down further into the depths of the vertical rock face.
During the scuffle, which happened during mating season, the cub climbs down a few rocks to get out of eyesight of the male bear, clambering on to the steep rocks.
Spanish officials have since confirmed that the female bear is still alive after she was filmed being attacked.
She was found deep in a narrow cave – but experts could not access her position as she was so far in. They used endoscopic cameras to confirm that she is moving inside the tight space.
Officials are remaining at the scene to continually assess the extent of the bear’s injuries and provide food and water at different points in the cave while monitoring the surrounding area.
The male bear, weighing 478lbs (217kg), on the other hand was not so fortunate after later being found dead by park officials.
Cameras in the Spanish national park captured the moment on Monday and have since been working to find her cub.
During mating season, which is usually from late spring to early summer for brown bears, it is not uncommon for male bears to attack females with cubs.
This is the incredible moment a female bear survived falling down a cliff after she was attacked by a male bear while protecting her cub in Montaña Palentina Natural Park in Palencia, Spain. The cub is pictured at the bottom, clambering on to the steep rocks
Filmed in the Montaña Palentina Natural Park in the northern Spanish region of Palencia on 6 June, the female bear was seen fighting with the male bear near the Peña de Santa Lucía rock formations between the Pineda Valley and the Curavacas Peak
This is because they are often trying to get to the cub, who they aim to kill as they look to sexually excite the female, who can’t do so when taking care of young offspring.
President of the Brown Bear Foundation Guillermo Palomero told news agency EFE: ‘The aim was not to kill the female bear, but to give her his genes.’
Claudio Sordo, a wildlife enthusiast who captured the footage with his friend Carmen Ortega told Spanish newspaper El Pais: ‘We had never seen anything like it.
‘We left feeling very sad because the scene was devastating. We couldn’t do anything. But it did boost our spirits to see that the female bear was alive.’
The local government said of the shocking footage: ‘Late yesterday afternoon, the operation of the Ministry of the Environment, Housing and Territorial Planning was able to make visual contact with the adult bear, where her cub is presumed to be with her also.
‘The operation, carried out by the Junta of Castile and Leon since Monday morning in the Santa Lucia area, was able to confirm late yesterday afternoon that the adult bear is still alive.
The pair land with a thump on the ground, and while the male bear remains close to where he fell to (left), the female bear (right) continues to fall down further into the depths of the vertical rock face
Spanish officials have since confirmed that the female bear is still alive after she was filmed being attacked (pictured after the fall)
‘However, it has not been possible to assess the extent of the injuries due to the impossibility of accessing the area of the cave where she is taking refuge, since, as confirmed yesterday afternoon, the length of the space is more than 15 metres, with a narrowing of less than 80 centimetres in places, and numerous vertical wells with a diameter of less than 50 centimetres.
‘Yesterday, the priority of the operation was to locate and assess whether the adult bear was alive and, if so, recover the cub if the mother was found dead.
‘At noon yesterday, after not observing the bear cub outside, a decision was taken to access the cave with endoscopic cameras and poles to monitor the interior from the exterior galleries and from the entrance to the cavity itself, prioritising safety at all times.
‘Also, yesterday afternoon a real-time vision camera was installed at the cave entrance to detect any movements of the bear or cub.’
‘After confirming that the bear is alive, the work plan for today’s morning will be to provide fruit, feed and water at different points in the cavity, as well as continuously monitoring the area.’
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