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Why is the JJ4 bear still locked up in the Trentino cage?

It was April 5, 2023 when Andrea Papi he was killed by a bear running in the woods near his home in Trentino. A huge tragedy, which focused attention on a topic – the coexistence of man and bear – which the Province of Trento and its President Fugatti seemed almost expected to become hot. As has been repeatedly underlined, in fact, there have been few, and certainly insufficient, actions to educate the population on coexistence with bears that the province of Trento has implemented in recent years, i.e. since the reintegration project Life Ursus came under his supervision.

Yet it is precisely through mutual knowledge that humans and wildlife coexist peacefully throughout the world. Or, without going too far, even just in Abruzzo where coexistence with the Marsican bear was certainly more effective, without declarations of war, killing notices and appeals to the TAR. It's true that Trentino is a different territory, that Trentino has lived years without bears (until their reintegration) which caused them to lose the habit of coexistence, but it is also true that the “war with the bear” was only implemented in Trentino, to the disdain of many, not just animal rights associations, who wonder if and why the government of a province should, instead of protecting, attack a national heritage such as, in fact, the bear population that inhabits it. In addition to the electoral purposes of President Fugatti, who was promptly reconfirmed by leveraging the people's appetites, What reason is there to explain this hatred? Why is the bear JJ4, believed to be responsible for the death of Andrea Papi, still locked up in the Casteller enclosure from then until today, when a shelter in Romania has said it is willing to welcome her? The Province of Trento, in the person of Roberto FailoniCouncilor for crafts, commerce, tourism, forests, hunting and fishing of the Province of Trento announced today that it will be transferred, not to Romania, but to Germany. We talked about it with Massimo Vitturi, LAV wild animals manager.

Massimo why is the JJ4 bear still in the cage?
«It is so because we managed to block the killing order after Andrea Papi's accident, but it is also so because following our request in April last year to transfer her to the refuge in Romania which was willing to welcome her for life, with costs covered by LAV, the Province of Trento never responded. leaving the bear for a year at Casteller. We have appealed the lack of response and on May 30th we will have a hearing at the Council of State.”

The M49 bear is also with her, what is his situation?
«He is the famous Papillon, a bear that since childhood someone has accustomed to feeding on milk and has thus learned to frequent huts, and to enter them attracted by the smell of cheese and milk. He has never hurt anyone, but he is considered a confidant bear and therefore according to the Pacobace can be captured.”

Even to keep him in a pen for life?
“Yes. Just today, councilor Failoni spoke about a possible transfer in the autumn which he had already mentioned in March. Let's see if he sticks to what he said. If this were the case, both bears would go to the Trento Forest refuge in Germany, identified by the province of Trento, which already hosts two Trentino bears. I haven't seen it but it's definitely not a prison like the Casteller enclosure.”

Why do we have to wait for autumn?
“Maybe they have to fix the reception fence, but we don't know”

Speaking of fences, you entered the Casteller, what is it like?
«The entire complete enclosure is less than one hectare and is divided into three sections, so each bear has around 2,500 square meters available, which is absolutely insufficient space. Already in his time I had compared it to a dog walking area and certainly not a place to house a bear for life. Such a choice means putting bears in a debilitating situation for their ethological behavior.”

In fact, yesterday you announced that you had seen the medical bulletins of the bears at Casteller, what do they say?
«The bulletins were viewed by our consultant to prepare for the hearing before the Council of State on May 30, and it can be deduced that the bear JJ4 in particular has stereotyped behaviors which show that she is a victim of stress: she does not show up in the day and night the grass is always trampled in the same places. It is a confirmation of the criticality I had encountered.”

So should an immediate transfer be even more urgent?
“Certain. It is not clear what reason this statement has, given that these movements are not agreements that they were able to make between yesterday and today, it is an agreement already in place but why continue to delay?

In general, why, from your point of view, do we live in a historical moment in which man finds it so difficult to respect the rights of nature?
«I believe that the responsibility lies with the administrators who must educate citizens to live together with nature and how it is fundamental to respect it in its true essence, not as something to be looked at under a glass bell».

In short, nature must not cause any “annoyance”.
«Yes, the truth is that if nature hinders people's activities and interests, then the political choice of this time, and of this government in particular, is to always assert the needs of men to the detriment of nature, without seek the path to coexistence. Moreover, the star minister Lollobrigida said that the only sentient being is man, contradicting science and article 13 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. Then he backtracked, but the feeling is the same.”

What happened to the Honey bear, or M89?
«He is locked up in the center of Spormaggiore. At the moment in which it was possible to try to reintroduce it into nature he had the misfortune of clashing with the electoral propaganda of the President of the Province Fugatti. In practice he pays the price for Fugatti's intemperance and incompetence in favoring a society fit for men and bears.”

In the meantime, in fact, the war on bears in the Province does not stop. The so-called “bear-killing law” was signed in March. What does he say?
«It is a law based on an aseptic scientific study by Ispra which analyzed the dynamics of bears in Trentino and deduced that up to 8 bears a year can be removed without the population being affected. It was a statistical study but Fugatti took it as the basis for deciding to kill 8 bears a year, considered in his opinion problematic and trustworthy.”

What is your proposal for coexistence between man and bear in Trentino?
«This is what we have been saying for years, that is, that the culture of the presence of bears should be rebuilt in Trentino. The territory can continue to be used but it is enough to take some precautions and caution. The province must implement a timely and detailed citizen information operation, however, since Andrea Papi's accident, the only thing it has done was cancel the information project with the bear ambassador that we at Lav had in place with the Adamello Brenta park. The only information project aimed at tourists and citizens has been cancelled.”

Not only the inhabitants but also the tourists would have the right to know in which areas it is easier to encounter bears and how to behave. Isn't not communicating this a serious non-compliance?
«The lack of information is a serious responsibility, which we denounced at the time of Andrea Papi. But with complaints we don't get far, the Province needs to decide to do things. Things that haven't been done yet.”\

Source: Vanity Fair

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