For 26 years Pyros, a Pyrenean brown bear, has enjoyed life as an undisputed alpha male. But he could be about to pay a price for that dominance.
Following the birth of a cub who is both his daughter and grand-daughter, Spanish scientists have declared his overwhelming sexual vigour is a threat to the survival of the colony.
Scientists say they must now choose between taking Pyros into captivity or castrating him – although they are not certain even the latter will prevent his dominant behaviour from hindering the population’s recovery.
“If he keeps up this sexual vigour and dominant attitude for a few more years, the other males in the mountains have no chance of mating with any of the females,” José Enrique Arró, the councillor who oversees environmental issues in the Val d’Aran, told La Vanguardia.