Northern Italy: Sister of "problem bear" Bruno killed jogger

The sister of the "problem bear" Bruno, who was shot dead in Bavaria in 2006, killed the jogger in the northern Italian province of Trentino a week ago.

Northern Italy: Sister of "problem bear" Bruno killed jogger

The sister of the "problem bear" Bruno, who was shot dead in Bavaria in 2006, killed the jogger in the northern Italian province of Trentino a week ago. After a DNA comparison, it is now clear that the female bear JJ4, who has often been conspicuous, attacked and killed the 26-year-old Trentino on a jogging tour in the forests of the area, the Trento public prosecutor said. "Bild" had previously reported.

Bruno, also known under the code JJ1, was known in Bavaria as a so-called problem bear: he tore sheep, plundered beehives and rabbit hutches. His description as a "problem bear" by the then Bavarian Prime Minister Edmund Stoiber became a dictum 17 years ago.

The parents of JJ4 and JJ1 are two Slovenian bears, Jose and Jurka, who were brought to Italy between 2000 and 2001 as part of the EU project "Life Ursus". At that time Bruno emigrated to Bavaria.

Not the first attack

The 17-year-old female bear JJ4 is not unknown in Trentino. According to the public prosecutor, it attacked two people, a father and his son, on Monte Peller in the summer of 2020. Even then she was supposed to be killed to ensure public safety. However, an administrative court overturned the decision. The bear has been fitted with a radio collar, but it is currently not working and is not transmitting any data on its movements, it said.

The jogger had not returned home after a tour in the municipality of Caldes, in a valley (Val di Sole) popular with hikers and tourists. A few hours later he was found dead on a forest path.

Deep scratches on the body and face, bite wounds and a deep wound on the abdomen prompted the early suspicion that a bear attack might have been involved. An autopsy confirmed the suspicion. Meanwhile, the search for the bear continues at full speed.

Debate on bears in Trentino

A heated debate about the coexistence of humans and bears has since begun in Italy. The regional president of Trentino-Alto Adige, Maurizio Fugatti, had already decided on Saturday that the bear should be searched for and killed. "This bear must be removed to ensure public safety," he said.

Fugatti and Italy's Environment Minister Gilberto Pichetto Fratin met on Tuesday to discuss the problem. Fugatti advocated the mass transfer of bears from Trentino to other areas to halve the population in the area. According to the province, there have been around 100 bears in Trentino since the "Life Ursus" project.

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