Serial runaway bear nicknamed ‘Papillon’ is on the loose again in Italy

Jul 28, 2020, 11:38 AM
The bear, which has escaped its electrified enclosure, is known to have attacked livestock in the r...
The bear, which has escaped its electrified enclosure, is known to have attacked livestock in the region. Photo credit - Press Office of the Autonomous Province of Trento

(CNN) — A brown bear nicknamed “Papillon” after displaying an impressive talent for escaping is being sought by rangers in Italy after fleeing from his electrified pen.

Officially named M49, the four-year-old bear broke free from his enclosure in the province of Trento, northern Italy, in the early hours of Monday morning.

A spokesman for the region’s local government confirmed to CNN that the bear — affectionately named after the central character of the autobiographical novel by French writer and escaped convict Henri Charrière — has “fled his cage multiple times.”

Brown bears were introduced to the region in 1999 as part of the Life Ursus project, which sought to conserve the species in the Alps. The scheme, launched by the National Institute of Wild Fauna, has led to 100 bears living in the province today.

The aim had been for the bears to disperse, but instead, they concentrated in the area, according to the spokesman, and are “fearless of humans and livestock.” The animals are believed to be responsible for killing several donkeys, goats, and cows.

“Papillon,” who has fled “multiple times,” according to the spokesman, was first recaptured on April 28, but escaped again a few hours later from the fenced area.

Once returned to captivity, the animal was castrated in a bid to “calm him down,” according to the spokesman for the local authority.

But the procedure failed to live up to expectations as the bear is now once again missing from the 9,000 square meter enclosure that he shared with a female bear. It is believed his most recent escape took place between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. on Monday.

That day, Trento’s governor, Maurizio Fugatti, interrupted a council meeting to deliver news of the bear’s latest escapade.

The spokesman said: “The fence was fortified and despite that he was able to break through the very resistant fence that was partially electric, he had a desire to escape stronger than a 6,000-volt fence.”

He added: “The problem is he is too wild and has a strong instinct to return to the forest.”

Last month, Italian animal rights groups called on the authorities in the same region to lift a death sentence on a brown bear that attacked a father and son who were out hiking.

There have been a number of bear attacks in the region in recent years, and local authorities have a database of bear DNA collected from feces, fur and saliva. Surveillance cameras are used to match the DNA to the animals.

™ & © 2020 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

Today’s Top Stories

All News

West Jordan Elementary is closing its gate for the last time at the end of the school year, due to ...
Hugo Rikard-Bell

West Jordan Elementary School is closing its gates after 40 years

West Jordan Elementary is closing its gate for the last time at the end of the school year, due to safety issues within the infrastructure.
9 hours ago
A Utah doctor says Americans should not avoid a preventative test for colon cancer, despite a recen...
Simone Seikaly

After celebrity death to colon cancer, Utah doctor weighs in on colonoscopy

Colon cancer and colonoscopies are in the news after the death of actress Kirstie Alley to colorectal cancer.
9 hours ago
Those planning herb gardens in Utah should focus on five specific plants -- basil, parsley, chives,...
Michelle Lee

Planning herb gardens in Utah? Here are 5 must-haves!

Basil tops the list of recommendations when planning herb gardens according to USU Extension horticulturist Sheriden Hansen.
9 hours ago
U.S. basketball player Brittney Griner, who was detained at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport and later...
Jennifer Hansler, Kylie Atwood, Jeremy Herb and MJ Lee, CNN

WNBA star Brittney Griner released from Russian detention in prisoner swap for convicted arms dealer

The Biden administration repeatedly made offers to get Whelan released as part of this deal, even after Russia made clear only Griner was acceptable.
9 hours ago
The crash happened overnight and resulted in an I-15 closure through Thursday morning Dec. 8 2022. ...
Amie Schaeffer

Hazmat spill closes I-15 in Bluffdale

A crash early Thursday morning closed I-15. The accident involved multiple vehicles and resulted in a hazmat spill.
9 hours ago
the salt lake city skyline is pictured, utahns can take a survey about the increasing utah populati...
Chris Jacobs

New survey asks how the state should handle Utah’s population increases

The goal is to gather feedback as Utah's population grows and then the responses and ideas to create a plan for handling that growth.
9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 game day snacks for the whole family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Serial runaway bear nicknamed ‘Papillon’ is on the loose again in Italy