August 23, 2006

Bruno the bear’s mum tagged, not shot

ROME (Reuters) - The mother of a brown bear shot in Germany
last June to the horror of animal lovers has been fitted with a
satellite tracking device by Italian authorities so that she
can be monitored and kept away from humans.

When a German hunter shot dead Bruno, a 100-kg (220 lb.)
bear which had wondered from his home in the Italian alps and
began worrying humans in Bavaria, Italians were outraged,
saying the rare animal should have been protected.

Now Bruno's mother, Jurka, has been causing mischief in
inhabited areas of Italy's Trentino-South Tyrol region. But
authorities there sedated and tagged her, rather than killing

"This is exactly the correct approach," said Italian
Environment Minister Alfonso Pecoraro Scanio on Wednesday.
"Killing a bear, like the Germans did, cannot be the right

The tag will allow the bear's movements to be monitored so
she can be chased away from areas where she could cause harm.

Both Jurka and Bruno were introduced to the alps as part of
an effort to increase a small community of bears in the
mountain range. They had been transferred from mountains in
Slovenia, an environment ministry official said.