A young jogger killed by a bear in Italy
A young jogger was killed by a bear on Wednesday on a hiking trail in northeastern Italy, a first in the country, a source close to the investigation told AFP on Friday.
Andrea Papi, 26, was running in a wooded and mountainous area near his village of Caldes, in the Trentino region, when he crossed paths with the plantigrade.
Alerted by his family worried about not seeing him return, the rescuers found his body on the night of Wednesday to Thursday in a ravine, carrying deep wounds to the neck, arms and stomach, some of which were clearly caused by a large carnivore. .
According to the results of the autopsy carried out on Friday, Andrea Papi succumbed to injuries inflicted by a bear, said a source close to the investigation, confirming information from Italian media.
DNA analysis should identify the animal in the coming days.
In March, a man had already been attacked by a bear not far from there, reviving the debate on the potential danger of the plantigrades, numerous in the region.
Thanks to the success of the “Life Ursus” reintroduction project bears in the autonomous province of Trentino between 1996 and 2004, 69 specimens were recorded in the territory in 2021.
While some residents are demanding the identification and slaughter of the animal responsible for the death of the young jogger, Annamaria Procacci, of the National Association for the Protection of Animals (Enpa), denounces the absence of preventive actions by the authorities.
“Man is not the target of predation by the bear, which on the contrary is a particularly fearful animal that keeps a distance” from man , reminded AFP the former ecologist deputy, deploring that no effort is made to “discourage access to areas where mothers and their young are”.
While declaring himself also opposed to the systematic slaughter of bears involved in non-fatal attacks on walkers, the environmental NGO WWF considered that the bear responsible for the death of the jogger should be put out of harm's way.
“The removal of this individual reduces the risk of new similar incidents and improves the social acceptance of the population towards the species”, argued the NGO in a press release.
There has between 120 and 200 bears in Italy, mainly in Trentino and Abruzzo (center) and this is the first recorded fatality.