Black Forest: Wildlife park wants to take in “problem bear” from Italy

Black Forest
Wildlife park wants to take in “problem bear” from Italy

Employees of the Trentino Forestry Corps prepare the transport of the bear JJ4 to a game reserve (archive photo). Photo

© -/Provincial Government of Trentino/dpa

Bear Gaia, who killed a jogger in Italy, is to come to Germany. A facility in the southwest is ready – but the prerequisites are still lacking.

The alternative wolf and bear park in The Black Forest wants to take in the “problem bear” Gaia from northern Italy. Details still need to be agreed, however, and a new enclosure is also needed in the park for the bear from the province of Trentino, a spokesman said when asked. The wild animal attacked and killed a 26-year-old jogger in Italy more than a year ago. SWR and Bayerischer Rundfunk reported earlier.

A photo of the animal, which is also known by the code name JJ4, will only be possible towards the end of the year, said the spokesman. Gaia will not be shown to visitors to the park in the Black Forest town of Bad Rippoldsau-Schapbach in the Freudenstadt district.

The provincial government of Trentino had already confirmed last week that JJ4 would be relocated to a bear reserve in Germany. The responsible assessor, Roberto Failoni, mentioned in the newspaper “Corriere del Trentino” a bear park in Germany run by the Foundation for Bears. The foundation has reserves in the Black Forest and in Worbis in Thuringia. However, Gaia’s exact whereabouts were not entirely clear from the announcement from Italy and the reactions to it.

Dispute over the fate of the bear

Since the fatal incident in April 2023, the provincial government led by regional president Maurizio Fugatti and animal rights activists have been arguing in court over the fate of the bear. The province ordered the animal to be shot. Courts stopped the decree after urgent applications from animal rights activists. JJ4 was captured alive and temporarily placed in an enclosure near Trent. Since then, a heated debate has been simmering in Italy about the coexistence of bears and humans in the forests of the province, which is popular with tourists and hikers.

Animals that have been rescued from emergencies live in the alternative wolf and bear park. Among them is the brown bear Jurka, the mother of Gaia, in the Black Forest. In the summer of 2006, Gaia’s brother Bruno was the first bear to set his paws on Bavarian soil in 170 years. He was shot down in the Rotwand area of ​​Bavaria.


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