Prosecutors in Italy said Wednesday that a bear that killed a jogger in the Alps last week previously attacked two other people, Reuters reports. Andrea Papi, 26, was found dead on April 6 after going for a run in the mountainous region of Trentino-Alto Adige.

His family raised the alarm when he failed to return and a search team found his body overnight.

He had suffered deep wounds to the neck, arms and chest and an autopsy carried out on Friday concluded he had been attacked by a bear, Italian news media reported.

Local authorities asked for the animal to be euthanized after the attack but Italian news agency Ansa reported Friday that the order to kill the bear had been suspended.

European brown bear foraging among rocks on mountain slope.
A European brown bear (Ursus arctos arctos) foraging among rocks on mountain slope in Italy.

Arterra/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Authorities had also applied for the bear to be put down in 2020, when it attacked a father and son near the same area, Reuters reported, but a court ruling overturned the decision.

Prosecutors said DNA samples taken after last week’s attack matched a 17-year-old female bear identified as “JJ4,” Reuters reported.

The bear wears a GPS radio collar that tracks its movements, but the monitoring page for the animal said there was a faulty signal from its collar before the fatal attack, Reuters reported.

In March, a man was attacked by a bear in the same region, launching a debate on the dangers posed by the animals, which were reintroduced there between 1996 and 2004.

Annamaria Procacci, a former ecologist deputy who now works with the animal welfare group ENPA, denounced the lack of precautions taken by local officials.

Bears normally kept their distance from people, she argued.

The local authority had to ensure that people were kept away from zones where female bears were raising their cubs, she added.

In 2020, a brown bear was caught on camera climbing onto a balcony of an apartment building in the northern Italian city of Calliano.


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