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  Bear shooting sparks cub search
Updated 04 November 2004, 16.14

A bear like this one was shot
The hunt is on to find a bear cub whose mother was shot and killed by hunters.

The mum was one of 15 native brown bears and the last female living in the Pyrenees mountains in France when she was surprised by the group of hunters.

The 10-month-old cub then ran off. France has now banned people from going hunting and walking in the area while they look for the orphaned baby bear.

The hunters say they shot her in self defence after she ran at them and bit one of the dogs in their pack.

But animal rights groups say the hunters shouldn't have been anywhere near the bear as they had been warned she was in the area.

Police investigation

The death of the bear, who was called Cannelle, is now being investigated by police to see if the hunters committed a crime by shooting her.

French President Jacques Chirac described Cannelle's death as a "great loss for biodiversity".

Officials say her cub has a good chance of surviving alone, because it is old enough to feed itself and there is lots of food about at the moment.

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