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Researchers find paw of Dutch bear

Researchers from Leiden and Groningen have found a fossilised paw of one of the last Dutch brown bears. They made their discovery in the water supply system in the dunes near to Noordwijk.

The paw found by the researchers is thought to be around a thousand years old. Bears probably roamed the Netherlands until the late Middle Ages, a view that is supported by Leiden Professor of Archaeology Thijs van Kolfschoten, one of the authors of the article in Lutra (PDF) in which the find was reported. 'It's very rare for such a fossil to be preserced, so if you make a discovery like this, you can be pretty sure there were a lot more bears around,'  he commented in the Dutch media.