A Spanish animal rights group has condemned the actions of a motorist who chased two brown bears along a mountain highway.

The video shows how the driver followed the animals for over a minute with its headlights at full strength. A passenger can be heard saying "look how they run together" as another whistles and growls at the bears in a bid to grab their attention.

The video appears to have been shot in the Cantabria region of northern Spain.

Spain's Brown Bear Foundation (EOP) said the actions were cruel and said the correct procedure would have been to stop the vehicle and allow the bears to run off. Instead the driver and passengers, who have not yet been identified, caused the bears unnecessary distress.

The Brown Bear Foundation posted the video to their Facebook page which has been watched over 30,000 times since Sunday (November 26).

"Every day it is becoming more common to see cruelty like this on social media," the group says in their caption.

The foundation claimed the actions also caused a "dangerous situation" for oncoming cars.

There are an estimated 240 brown bears left in Spain with most living in the northern regions of Asturias and Cantabria and in the provinces of Lugo and León.