Killer bear captured in Italy

Rome –

Authorities in northern Italy have captured a bear that fatally injured a runner, becoming the focus of a battle over what to do with the once-endangered brown bear population in the Italian Alps.

A 17-year-old female, Jj4, was caught overnight in a tube trap fed with fresh fruit in Brenta National Park, officials in the Trento Autonomous Region said. She was sedated and taken to a holding center pending a final decision regarding her fate. Her three cubs, who were two years old and self-sufficient, were with her at the time and were released unharmed.

Andrea Papi, 26, was killed by Jj4 during mountain training on April 5th. After identifying her Jj4 as her killer from her DNA, Trent state authorities ordered her euthanized, but her animal rights group appealed to the Administrative Court to stop her killing. Did. order.

Jj4 is the same Alpine brown bear that injured a father and son during a walk in the area in 2020. Trento authorities then ordered her killed, but a court blocked the move.She was killed after crossing to Germany in 2005 with “Bruno” or her Jj1, according to Italian reports, in the province of Grigoni in 2008.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Trento governor Maurizio Fugatti outraged that Papi’s death could have been avoided if Jj4 had been euthanized after his first dangerous encounter with a human in 2020. expressed.

He denounced as “ideological” claims by animal rights groups opposing selective euthanasia of bears known to be aggressive, such as Jj4. He said at her press conference Tuesday that the state hopes to euthanize her on the spot and hopes to do so pending a final court ruling.

Jj4 was born from two bears brought to Italy from Slovenia 20 years ago. This was part of an EU-funded program to restore the brown bear population, which had dwindled to the brink of extinction. Her parents, Joze and Jurka, were introduced in her 2000 and her 2001 respectively, explaining the “Jj” initials in her name and those of her brothers.

The Life Ursus project began in 1999 with the introduction of 3 males and 6 females into the Trento Forest, rebuilding a population of 40-60 bears over several decades. But the project has worked too well, with populations recovering to her over 100 identified bears and increasingly encountering human populations, Italian media reports.

Fugatti said he has sought the transfer of about 60 “surplus” bears from the Trento area and plans to convene a working group to discuss next steps.

Coalitions of animal welfare organizations, including the International Organization for the Protection of Animals (OIPA), have called on the Trent authorities to “strictly” respect judicial injunctions against killing orders, and “through all available legal channels” Jj4 and its I swore to protect my children.

Papi’s family didn’t want the bear killed.

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