A mother bear with three cubs trapped after she killed and disembowelled a 26-year-old jogger in northern Italy has been sentenced to death.
The President of the Autonomous Province of Trento, Maurizio Fugatti, signed a new order for the bear – known as JJ4 – to be killed, in Trento, Italy, on Thursday, 27th April.
The culling order comes after an initial destruction notice was suspended following an appeal from animal welfare organisations.
Officials say the bear is now due to be put to death on 11th May.
The order says: “As a precautionary measure for public health and safety, it is reasonable to kill the animal, rather than accepting even the slightest risk that it may again come into contact with a person, even in the context of all operational phases aimed at the possible transfer of the same to another place.”
But animal rights activists are now appealing to Italy’s Minister of Infrastructure Matteo Salvini to save the bear’s life.
And the Lega Anti Vivisezione (Anti-Vivisection League; LAV) has appealed to block the order to kill JJ4.
They are also offering to house the bear and its own expense abroad, a solution which was also proposed by the Italian Minister of the Environment Gilberto Pichetto Fratin and other organisations.
JJ4 was caught in the woods above the Val di Sole, in the northern Italian province of Trentino on 17th April – just a few miles from the site of the attack.
Her capture came following a culling order that was signed by Fugatti after 26-year-old Andrea Papi was found mauled to death on 5th March.
Papi’s girlfriend had also demanded that the bear be caught and killed.
Investigators were reportedly able to determine which bear killed Papi through DNA testing.
The bear was captured with a fruit-baited tube trap and was accompanied by her three cubs which were just starting to be weaned off their mother’s milk.
Two cubs reportedly entered the trap with their mother and were then released.
Investigators believe the bear disembowelled the jogger after she killed him and dragged his body into the woods.
The 17-year-old bear, which is one of the oldest in the mountains of Trentino, has previously been saved from culling back in 2020.
Back then, JJ4 – or Gaia as her defenders renamed her – was accused of attacking a father and son who were walking on a nearby mountain.
After a long judicial dispute between the regional court and the Council of State, the bear was let off free.
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