“They left very quietly and they seem in good shape”

For the past seven years, these ibex have been the subject of a reintroduction program funded by the European Union. And unlike the bear, this release only makes people happy.


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The ten ibex, seven females and three males were a little sleepy in their boxing of the Spanish truck. On Friday, October 16, the Ariège Pyrenees natural park proceeded to a new release of these little goats that had disappeared from the Ariège landscape a century ago … For seven years now, the European Union has been funding a reintroduction program which, unlike to that of the bear, elicits only positive reactions. Taken out one by one, the ibex immediately disappeared in the Ariège mountains, to the delight of Julien Canet, who is in charge of the program to reintroduce these animals to the Pyrenees National Park.

“It’s a deliverance because it went really well!, he says. They left very quietly and they seem in good shape. There is a lot of stress for the animals and you have to put yourself in the place of the ibex: they have spent two weeks in quarantine, they have driven ten hours in the truck and arrive in a sector they do not know … ”

“The advantage of letting them go one by one like this, continues Julien Canet, it is that they follow each other more or less and more or less each take their trace and that reassures them. Little by little, the idea is that they go up and join the others. But I don’t care, it will! “

Jean-Louis Fernandez is president of the Federation of Mountain Hunters. According to him, the ibex, which had disappeared in Ariège in 1910, because it was too hunted, returns in particular thanks to the work of the hunters. In short, a paradox. “We count the births during our hikes, in the summer, during our mushroom walks, explains Jean-Louis Fernandez. We note when we see one, we make a map of what it becomes. It is an animal that has a fairly large radius of action, especially in the summer when it passes to the other side of the Pyrenees following the ridges, then they come back here. “

They are often on rock faces where they feed on lichen in winter. We sometimes admire the places where they pass because no other species passes there. Looks like they have crampons under their hooves!Jean-Louis Fernandezto franceinfo

The ibex has been part of the Ariège landscape for a long time. “In the cave of Niaux, not far from here, which is 14,000 years old, ibex have been painted on the rock, says Chantal Mauchet, prefect of Ariège. It’s a species that was there a long, long, long time ago …Note that there is no badly licked bear for this reintroduction of ibex which brings together all the votes of Ariège.

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