Italy to transfer bear that killed mountain jogger to Germany

By Thomson Reuters May 14, 2024 | 8:57 AM

ROME (Reuters) – A female bear that killed a jogger in the Italian Alps last year, triggering a fierce legal battle over its fate, will be relocated to a sanctuary in Germany, authorities from the northern Italian province of Trento said on Tuesday.

After the bear, known as JJ4, fatally attacked a 26-year-old man in April 2023, Trento administrators issued an order for its capture and execution. The death sentence was blocked by legal challenges from environmentalists.

“JJ4 will be transferred by the autumn,” Trento’s tourism and hunting councillor Roberto Failoni told local daily Corriere del Trentino, adding it would find a new home at the Worbis Alternative Bear Park in the central German state of Thuringia.

The decision came after the animal rights group LAV said it had secured access to medical bulletins showing that JJ4 and another bear were being held in captivity in the Trento province in a “severe state of stress.”

Failoni denied this was the case.

The area around the city of Trento, which was re-populated with bears from 1999 under an EU-funded programme, has seen several bear attacks in recent years, raising questions about how to achieve successful cohabitation with the animals.

(Reporting by Alvise Armellini, editing by Gavin Jones and Michael Erman)