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Bear hunt in Italy after fatal attack

Same bear attacked two people in 2020.

Forest rangers are hunting down a bear that killed a 26-year-old jogger in the autonomous north Italian province of Trentino last week, after DNA tests confirmed the animal's identity on Wednesday.

The president of Trentino, Maurizio Fugatti of the right-wing Lega party, has ordered rangers to kill the wild animal, a 17-year-old female known to authorities as JJ4.

The bear was identified after tests were carried out on bloodied tree branch, believed to have been used by jogger Andrea Papi in an attempt to defend himself in the attack on 5 April.

The same animal attacked a father and son hiking on Monte Peller in 2020, prompting Fugatti at the time to order that the bear be killed, a decision subsequently overturned by a court.

The bear was fitted with a radio collar however the device no longer shows the animal's whereabouts, reports news agency ANSA.

The family of Papi, whose funeral takes place on Wednesday, says it intends to sue the Italian state and the province of Trento for having reintroduced bears in Trentino without adequate consultation with communities living in the area.

This is the first case of a bear killing a human since the wild animals were reintroduced in Trentino after being imported from Slovenia in 1999 as part of the Life Ursus project.

The scheme had originally envisaged about 50 bears in the province but the population has since swelled to around 100 animals, some of which are deemed "problematic" by regional authorities.

Fugatti repeated claims this week that the project has "got out of hand" and called for bear numbers to be reduced to "an adequate level" to guarantee coexistence with local communities.

The Italian environment ministry said this week that it is studying plans for a "mass transfer" of bears from Trentino to other parts of Italy.

File photo Shutterstock

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