A bear that was due to be killed after being blamed for the death of a runner has been granted a reprieve by an Italian court.
The 17-year-old female, known as JJ4, was captured by park rangers after DNA evidence linked her to the death of Andrea Papi on 5 April.
She had been due to be put down but the court in the city of Trento has now postponed a cull until at least 27 June after environmental groups lodged an appeal.
It comes after the body of 26-year-old Mr Papi was found in the Trentino-Alto Adige region of the Italian Alps.
His worried girlfriend had reported him missing after he failed to return from a jog.
Along with his body, a search party reportedly discovered a bloodstained branch at the scene, leading investigators to believe he may have tried to use it to fight the bear off.
JJ4 has also been implicated in an attack on a father and son as they hiked in the region back in 2020.
Local officials said the bear needed to be culled due to her history of attacking humans. But activists argued she should be moved to a reserve – either in Italy or abroad – instead.
Mr Papi’s family also previously said they did not want the bear to be killed.
At a hearing on Friday judges agreed to postpone JJ4’s death for at least a month to give both parties more time to submit evidence.
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The court said it would hold a fresh hearing in December. Animal rights groups said that meant the animal could not be killed before then, but officials did not confirm this.
JJ4 was captured almost two weeks after Mr Papi’s death when she was lured to a trap, before being sedated and taken to a holding centre.
Her three cubs that with her at the time were later freed, unharmed.
Another bear at large
Judges further ordered a similar suspension for another bear suspect, known as MJ5, which has yet to be captured.
That bear is also facing a cull order after being accused over an attack on a man in March, who was injured – but managed to escape – while walking his dog on a mountain path.
The area was re-populated with bears from 1999 under an EU-funded programme following concerns that numbers were dwindling to the point of near extinction.
The region had around 100 wild bears in 2021, with numbers increasing about 10% a year since 2015, according to official figures.
Trentino governor Maurizio Fugatti is under pressure to reduce their population after he said the area had an “excess” amount of bears and claimed the optimal number would be around 50.
Kaynak : https://news.sky.com/story/killer-bear-spared-death-sentence-by-italian-court-12889954