Authorities Capture Bear That Reportedly Killed 26-Year-Old Jogger In Italy

Not the bear from the story. (OLIVIER MORIN/AFP via Getty Images)

Melanie Wilcox Contributor
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Authorities captured a bear that reportedly killed a 26-year-old runner earlier in April in Trentino-Alto Adige, a region in northern Italy that borders Switzerland and Austria.

A 17-year-old bear killed Andrea Papi as he was jogging in the Brenta Dolomites mountain range, the BBC reported Tuesday. The bear, identified as JJ4, was with her three cubs in the Meledrio valley when forest rangers found her. Authorities issued for the bear to be put down, but the decision was postponed and the she-bear remains at the Casteller animal care center in the Trento area, according to the outlet.

“We would have liked to kill the bear on the spot,” provincial governor Maurizio Fugatti said at a press conference, the BBC reported. JJ4 will be euthanized pending the verdict of a court hearing in May, he added.

Bears are a protected species in Italy, and their population has been growing since they were reintroduced to the region in the early 2000s, the BBC reported. JJ4’s parents were brought from Slovenia into the region under the “Life Ursus” European conservation project. JJ4 previously injured a father and son in 2020 as they were climbing Mount Peller, according to the outlet. (RELATED: Ring Doorbell Shows Bear And Asheville Man’s Confrontation)

“Those who are now preoccupied with JJ4’s condition are just being ideological. They don’t have the survival of the Life Ursus project at heart,” Fugatti added.