(Gray wolf, Canis Lupus)
Sinister hill prowler or conservation success? You decide. The wolf was declared extinct in France in the 1930s but returned in the early 1990s, flying through the mountains across the Italian border. Since then, it has progressively penetrated the center and the south of France. While shepherds in Eastern Europe have always had to coexist with wolves, their counterparts in France are unhappy with their reappearance. According to popular press, wolves lose their fear of humans and approach villages, but the truth is that humans are more of a threat to wolves than they are. You’ll be lucky to see one.
Location: Mercantour National Park (Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and Alpes-Maritimes).
Look at this: Spotting wolves is not easy, but responsible travel will do its best to put you in the right place.
(Our brown, Ursos Arctos)
The last native adult bear from the Pyrenees, Cinnamon (a female), was killed by a hunter in 2004. The 40 animals that inhabit the Pyrenees are the result of a reintroduction program using bears brought from Slovenia. Like the wolf, the bear is a very controversial animal in France. Shepherds complain that bears sometimes kill sheep but, despite the legends, bears are …