Activists Slam 'Brutal' Killing of Stalker Bear

M90 was killed in Italy's Trentino province after reportedly following too closely several humans
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 7, 2024 5:39 PM CST
Activists Slam Culling of 'Excessively Confident' Bear
Stock photo of a brown bear in Europe (not M90).   (Getty Images/DrDjJanek)

Local authorities killed a brown bear in Italy this week following concerns that the animal was getting too close, too often to humans in the area. The AP reports that M90 was culled by forestry corps officials on Tuesday in Trentino's Sole Valley, on the orders of the province's president, Maurizio Fugatti. The bear, IDed by markings on its ear and radio collar, was said to have been "excessively confident" and effectively a stalker, purposely following people on at least three occasions, reports the Guardian. In one of those instances, M90 followed two hikers for nearly a third of a mile along a mountain path.

That outlet notes that the bear was also spotted on at least a dozen occasions "in residential areas or in the immediate vicinity of permanent dwellings," according to provincial authorities. The ISPRA environmental center called to "remove M90 as soon as possible"—an approach that not everyone agreed with, including animal rights and environmental activists and local politicians. "The animal had never caused any damage, it should not have been considered dangerous," Green Councilwoman Lucia Coppola tells the Guardian, calling the killing/culling of the bear "brutal."

"President Fugatti was deaf to the request of public opinion," said the International Organization for Animal Protection, or IOPA, claiming the only damage carried out by M90 before his death was to a farm fence and organic waste receptacle. Per WION, the bear was about 2½ years old. The debate on what to do about the region's 100 or so bears came to a head last spring when a bear tagged as JJ4 fatally mauled a 26-year-old jogger near Caldes. Three years earlier, the same bear had attacked a father and son hiking. (More bears stories.)

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