Bear kills jogger on woodland path in northern Italy

Bear kills jogger on woodland path in northern Italy

A bear attacked and killed a jogger on a woodland path in north-east Italy, the first case of its kind, a source close to the case told AFP on Friday.

Andrea Papi, 26, was killed on Wednesday while out running in the mountainous region near his village, Caldes, in the Trentino region. His family raised the alarm when he failed to return and a search team found his body overnight.

He had suffered deep wounds to the neck, arms and chest, and an autopsy carried out on Friday concluded that he had been attacked by a bear, the source added, confirming Italian news reports.

In March, a man was attacked by a bear in the same region, prompting a debate on the dangers posed by the animals, which were reintroduced there between 1996 and 2004.

In 2014, a female brown bear known as Daniza mauled a man looking for mushrooms in the same region. The bear, transferred from Slovenia into the woodlands around Trentino in 2000, died after being given an anaesthetic during an attempt to capture her.

The local authority has decided to track and kill the animal, once it has been identified, Trentino region’s president, Maurizio Fugatti, told reporters on Friday evening. The environmental group WWF had already acknowledged that it needed to be put down.

But Annamaria Procacci, a former ecologist deputy who now works with the animal welfare group ENPA, denounced the lack of precautions taken by local officials. Bears normally keep their distance from people, she argued.

The local authority had to ensure that people were kept away from zones where female bears were raising their cubs, she added.

This article was first published by The Guardian on 7 April 2023. Lead Image: A Marsican brown bear in Majella national park in Abruzzo, Italy. Brown bears were reintroduced to Trentino between 1996 and 2004. Photograph: Valerio Mei/Alamy.

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