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Shock after the popular bear was shot dead in an Italian town


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Watch: A mother bear and her cubs roam an Italian town

A famous female bear has been shot dead on the outskirts of a town in central Italy, and a man claims he opened fire out of fear.

The bear, named Amarina, was photographed earlier this week walking around the town of San Sebastiano de Marse with her two cubs.

Local governor Marco Marsilio said no bear in the Abruzzo region had ever threatened the population.

However, earlier this year, a runner was killed by a bear in the Alps.

There was widespread shock in Abruzzo with the death of Amarina. Bear was well known in the area and was named after a variety of black cherry of which she was particularly fond.

The governor said on social media that the killing was incomprehensible and was “a very serious act against the entire Abruzzo region that leaves pain and anger.”

Environment Minister Gilberto Picetto spoke of a “very serious incident” and said everything possible must be done to ensure her cubs are protected and kept free.

Amarina was one of about 60 endangered Marcican bears living in the Abruzzo National Park and native to central Italy.

She said park rangers quickly intervened because the two bears were there but veterinarians could only confirm the bear’s death.

Although Amarna has caused damage to crops and livestock in the past, there is no justification for the attack, she said:[Amarena] It didn’t create any kind of problem for humans.”

The man who killed the animal has been identified and questioned by the local police.

He was quoted by the ANSA news agency as saying, “I shot out of fear but I didn’t want to kill. I found her inside my property and it was a reckless and instinctive act.”

There had been some concerns locally that video that emerged on social media of Amarina and her two cubs on Tuesday had led to an influx of spectators keen to catch a glimpse of the bears.

In the footage, people in San Sebastiano de Marcy look on from a distance as the mother is seen walking through town, waiting for her pups and then moving away from the small crowd.

One of her young, Juan Carrito, died in January after being hit by a car. He was also very popular with the locals, despite breaking into a bakery and eating a batch of freshly baked biscuits in 2021.

The shock surrounding this latest death is very different from the events of last April when Andrea Papi, 26, was fatally attacked in the north-eastern region of Trentino-Adige.

The bear accused of killing him in the Alpine foothills last spring has been identified as JJ4 and is the product of a program to repopulate the area with bears from Slovenia.

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