Italy: Family of bears visit Abruzzo village

Amarena the bear and her cubs pay a visit to S. Sebastiano dei Marsi.

A bear known affectionately as Amarena took her four cubs for a ramble through the streets of the tiny Abruzzo village of S. Sebastiano dei Marsi where the family was filmed by local residents.

The mountain village, located in the Apennines in the province of L'Aquila, and is part of the Parco Nazionale d'Abruzzo Lazio e Molise (PNALM), a protected area home to the critically endangered bears.There have been repeated sightings of Amarena and her cubs, particularly in the area around Lago di Scanno and Villalago, where they were pictured eating cherries earlier this summer.

It was also here that in recent days Amarena attacked and killed a sheep, in front of the shepherd and several forest rangers, dragging the animal into the woods to feed her cubs.

Visitors to the vast national park, which comprises 50,000 hectares of protected land in central Italy, are reminded that although Marsican bears are not known to be aggressive towards people, they should not be approached, particularly when with cubs.

The Marsican brown bear is a subspecies of the brown bear, with only about 50-60 of the animals left in existence, compared to 100 in 1980.Between 2007 and 2018, 15 females died, including a mother and her cubs that drowned in an inadequately covered mountain well.

The park's president Antonio Carrara believes the Marsican bear will be able to escape the "real risk of extinction if it is possible to increase, even slightly, the survival of adult females.”

Unsurprisingly the main threat to the bears' survival is man, with direct and indirect risks including poaching, poisoning, deforestation, cattle grazing and road accidents.

Also known as the Apennine brown bear (Ursus arctos marsicanus), the animal is the largest land creature in the wild in Italy.

The PNALM website contains an excellent source of information, in English, about the bears and how to respect their habitat.Photo Ohga! 

General Info

Address 67050 San Sebastiano dei Marsi, Province of L'Aquila, Italy

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Italy: Family of bears visit Abruzzo village

67050 San Sebastiano dei Marsi, Province of L'Aquila, Italy