The cold-blooded killing of a brown mother bear who was shot has shocked animal rights groups and politicians.
The brown bear called Amarena was shot in San Benedetto dei Marsi, in Italy, just outside the national park of Abruzzo, on Friday.
Her four-year-old cub Juan Carrito made headlines in 2021 for devouring hundreds of biscuits from a local bakery.
He died earlier this year after being hit by a car and her other cubs are now being cared for by park authorities.
‘The park veterinarian intervened on the spot with the emergency team, who however could only ascertain the death of the bear given the seriousness of the wound,’ the park said on its Facebook page.
‘The episode is very serious and causes enormous damage to the population of about 60 specimens, affecting one of the most prolific females in the history of the park,’ the national park statement said.
‘Obviously there are no reasons to justify the episode given that Amarena had never created any type of problem for the man,’ it added.
The Marsican brown bear is an endangered species in Italy, where fewer than 60 brown bears now live.
It is being treated as a serious crime and the 56-year-old man who shot her has been handed over to local police, CNN reported.
He reportedly told police he shot Amarena ‘out of fear, but I didn’t want to kill it, I found it inside my property. It was an impulsive, instinctive act.’
The man could face four months to two years in prison if convicted.
Italy’s environment minister Gilberto Pichetto said: ‘It is necessary to clarify as soon as possible. I am in constant contact with all the institutional actors who are working to shed light on the matter: maximum coordination is now needed between the ministry, the regions, the Park Authority, Ispra, Cufa, mayors and prefects.
‘Our commitment is also aimed at protecting the bear cubs, doing everything so that they can remain in freedom.’
Three bears have been killed in the district of Abruzzo since 2010.
A 17-year-old bear that killed a 26-year-old jogger was sentenced to death in the northern region of Trento in April.
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