Spanish wildlife photographer and enthusiast Claudio Sordothe was at the Montaña Palentina Natural Park in Spain with his friend when he filmed the incredible moment a mother bear protected her cub from a bigger male bear by fighting him. They then tumbled off a high cliff together.
Claudio told Spanish newspaper El Pais, “We had never seen anything like it.”
The shocking footage was captured in the northern Spanish region of Palencia on June 6th (2022) near the Peña de Santa Lucía rock formations.
The footage showed the male brown bear scaling the mountain to get to the mother bear and her small cub who were higher up in the rocks. When finally got up to her she stood in the way of him and her cub and they started to go at it.
They bit, clawed, and wrestled each other for a good two minutes, and dangerously on the edge of a cliff while the cub ran off to escape. They fought until they finally slipped and both fell off the side of the cliff, falling what looks like to be about 50 feet to the hard rocks below.
The male bear weighed about 478 pounds smack the rocks hard while the mother bear somehow landed on a small patch of grass that bounced her back up into the air and sent her tumbling down the mountainside.
They both looked stunned from the fall but eventually got up, gathered themselves, and went on their way.
“We left feeling very sad because the scene was devastating.” Claudio told Spanish newspaper El Pais. “We couldn’t do anything. But it did boost our spirits to see that the female bear was alive.”
Claudio reported the incident to the local wildlife authorities who sent a team out the next day to look for both of the bears. Sadly, the larger male bear was found dead not far from the fall site.
The local government said the operation of the Ministry of the Environment, Housing and Territorial Planning were also able to find the mother bear, but she was alive and hiding 45ft deep down in a cave with her cub.
“Yesterday, the priority of the operation was to locate and assess whether the adult bear was alive and, if so, recover the cub if the mother was found dead,” the local goverment said, according to Daily Mail.“Yesterday, the priority of the operation was to locate and assess whether the adult bear was alive and, if so, recover the cub if the mother was found dead.”