Animal climbed over three electric fences and four-metre high barrier to escape
Italian forest rangers are on the hunt for a bear that has been described as an escape genius after managing to climb over three electric fences and a four-metre high barrier at a wildlife enclosure in the northern province of Trentino before disappearing into the woods.
Code-named M49, the 149kg (23 stone) brown bear fled the Casteller centre within hours of being captured with a tube trap overnight on Sunday in Val Rendena.
An order for its capture was issued by the president of Trentino, Maurizio Fugatti, more than a month ago after deeming the animal to be a risk to humans after it was seen close to inhabited areas.
Fugatti stoked further fury from animal rights groups, as well as opposition from the environment ministry on Monday after giving an order to forest rangers to kill the animal. As of early afternoon on Tuesday, the bear had been photographed in woods on La Marzola mountain, south of Trento.
If M49 approaches inhabited areas, forest rangers have permission to shoot it down, Fugatti said. The fact that the bear managed to climb over an electric fence with seven wires at 7,000 volts demonstrates that this specimen is dangerous and a public safety problem.
Sergio Costa, the environment minister, criticised the inefficiencies and lack of professionalism in the capture and said the order to kill the animal was absurd.
Costa sent a team from the Italian Institute of Environmental Protection and Research to the province to clarify how the bear managed to escape and to intervene with caution without undermining the life of the animal.
WWF Italy ridiculed the provinces efforts to deal with the bear: A solid electrified fence with adequate power is an insurmountable barrier even for the most astute bears, it said. Obviously the structure was not working properly, since bears do not fly.
Michela Vittoria Brambilla, president of the Italian Defence League for Animals, told M49 to run and save yourself. We are on the side of the bear and of freedom, she said.
After their population dwindled to just four, Alpine brown bears were reintroduced to Trentino in 2000 when EU funding paved the way for the Adamello Brenta nature park to set up the Life Ursus project, through which 10 bears were transported from Slovenia. Today, the population stands at about 50.
Life Ursus said in a statement environment and animal rights groups were preparing to take legal action over the provinces cruel, unjustified and irrational actions, while concluding that M49 would probably suffer the same fate as the ape in the epic monster adventure film, King Kong.
We all know how King Kong ends: the beast defends itself but finally succumbs. The same script has already been written for M49, the statement said.
The Trentino Alto Adige unit of Italys anti-hunting league, Lac, compared M49s escape to the 1973 prison break film Papillon. Evidently, M49 is an escape genius gifted with superpowers akin to a hero of Marvel Comics.
Original Article : HERE ;
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