Spanish officials have confirmed that a female bear still alive after she was filmed being attacked by a male while protecting her cub before they both fell off a cliff mid-struggle.
The female bear was attacked by the male during mating season in the Montana Palentina Natural Park in the northern region of Castile and Leon on 6th June.
The Junta of Castile and Leon said in a statement that they found the female bear still alive in a narrow cave.
Experts could not access the bear’s position deep in the narrow cave and used cameras to confirm that she is moving inside the tight space.
Officials remain at the scene to assess the extent of the bear’s injuries and provide food and water.
On Monday, cameras in the national park captured the moment the female bear was attacked by a male while she was protecting her cub.
The adult bears plummeted off a cliff and the male, weighing 217 kilogrammes, was later found dead by park officials.
Since Monday, rescue teams have been trying to track down the female bear and her cub, fearing at least one of them was seriously injured.
Park officials found the bear’s cave on Tuesday and confirmed the presence of at least one of the pair with endoscopic cameras.
The plan on Wednesday was to provide food and water at different points in the cave while monitoring the surrounding area.
The regional government said: “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.
“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.”