Carla Bruni's support for brown bears angers Pyrenean farmers
The Pyrenean farmers do not like Carla Bruni much these days.
She wants to preserve the bears living there, but the farmers say she is just trying to get attention and does not understand that the bears destroy their farms and eat their animals.
“It’s annoying to see celebrities sponsoring the bears without understanding the consequences,” Louis Dollo, a former farmer and anti-bear activist, said. “We do not give a hoot about the views of Parisians, civil servants or the wife of the President,” he told The Times.
President Sarkozy, who married Ms Bruni in February, has so far stayed out of the “bear wars”, which pit environmentalists against farmers and local politicians who say the bears kill sheep and threaten their livelihoods.
Ms Bruni, the epitome of the Parisian left-wing upper class, agreed in 2006 to be “godmother” to Hvala, one of five bears brought in from Slovenia to replenish a population that had dwindled to about 15. Hvala gave birth to two cubs, named Bamboo and Pollen, in January last year.
The group against the farmers say there is not much evidence the bears do much damage at all, while farmers even have signs up in their town saying 'go back to Slovenia'. I'm not sure bears can read however.