A ruling by an administrative court in Italy’s alpine region on Friday has, for the time being, spared the life of the bear that fatally attacked a jogger last month.
The brown bear, identified as Jj4, was captured on April 18 after an intense two-week hunt that began after a 26-year-old local resident was killed while running on a mountain trail.
The court in the city of Trento requested more details about the dynamics of the 17-year-old bear’s attack and thus suspended an order from local authorities for the animal’s euthanasia. The suspension lasts until June 27. But the bear’s fate may not even be decided until then, as a hearing has been set for December 14 to decide the merits of animal rights advocates’ proposals to move the bear to a refuge – exactly where is unclear – where the animal would not be a danger to humans.
Italian news agency ANSA also said the court had concluded that more details from the jogger’s autopsy were needed before making any decision on the bear’s fate.
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Animal rights groups disputed the order issued by authorities in the province of Trento to kill the bear.
It was unclear whether Jj4 could have attacked Andrea Papi, who was training, because the puppies were nearby. His family has said they are opposed to killing the bear.
The provincial president argued that Papi’s death could have been avoided if the bear had been euthanized after attacking two people, injuring them, in 2020.
Jj4’s parents were brought to Italy from Slovenia two decades ago as part of a project, funded by the European Union, to boost the brown bear population, which at the time was feared to be dwindling to the brink of extinction. The bear population thrived, with the animals increasingly finding people.