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Thousands of trees and shrubs will be planted across northern Spain to provide a food source for brown bears during the winter who are being forced out of hibernation early because of climate change.
A series of scientific studies have found that warmer winters have also affected the food sources which bears depend on.
As part of a project backed by the European Union and the Spanish government, 150,000 native trees and shrubs will be planted, producing fruit such as chestnuts, cherries, apples and alder buckthorn across 155 hectares in Cantabria, Castilla y Leon and Asturias.
There are estimated to be about 330 brown bears living in northern Spain and the species is classified as endangered.
Blueberries, which is one of the bear’s favourite foods, have suffered because of warmer winters, so the researchers have sought to replace it with other fruit.
The project also aims to educate the human population about how they should adapt to having more bears in woods and mountains during the winter.
“As there are more brown bears around during a time when they would normally be hibernating we will have to alert humans to change their behaviour,” Guillermo Palermo, president of the Brown Bear Foundation, told the i.
“As we spend more time in cities now, more people are getting out to the countryside to walk, but they have to adapt their behaviour.”
Meanwhile, skiers at one Romanian resort have had to face down bears twice this so far year as the animals are no longer hibernating because of climate change.
The most recent incident happened at the Predeal Ski Resort in the Transylvanian mountains on Tuesday.
Ski instructor Adrian Stoica, who was about to start a class, captured the moment on video.
Mr Stoica told ABC News: “As I was skiing down the mountain, a bear suddenly appeared on the slope and a group of at least 15 skiers were trapped. I told them to try to chase the bear away by making noise and shouting. It did not work.”
Mr Stoica skied down the slope to try to draw the bear’s attention away from the trapped skiers.
“It was a horror, but also an experience of a lifetime – alone with a wild animal in the wilderness,” he said.