Italian minister for the environment, Pecoraro Scanio, the head of the Italian WWF, Fulco Pratesi and other Italian environmentalists have protested the killing of Bruno the bear in Germany on 26 June.

Bruno, a young Slovenian bear, was part of a European Union-sponsored re-population programme in the Adamello Brenta park in the north of Italy on the border with Austria.

But he decided to go for a stroll out of his home district on the 4 May. Officially know as Jj1, Bruno made his way into Austria where he covered long distances and was seen near St Anton and around Innsbruck. On his journey Bruno killed chickens, rabbits and at least 25 sheep and a hunt began.

The bear moved north into Baveria where at the beginning of June experts came from Finland to try to capture him. Their attempts came to nothing and they went home on 24 June. Various permits were issued and then revoked by the German authorities to kill the bear until finally a new permit was issued, valid from 27 June.

On the 24 June an engineer living near Lake of Spitzing became aware of the presence of the bear, followed it for some hours, and then he telephoned the police emergency number, expecting them to send a team to capture the animal. Instead they sent huntsmen who killed Bruno while he slept.

It seems that the bear will be preserved and put on display in the natural history museum in Munich.