Runaway bear Daniza dies during capture

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Photo of Daniza when she was released in 2000: Provincia Autonoma di Trento
13:24 CEST+02:00
Daniza, the runaway bear who attacked a man foraging for mushrooms in northern Italy last month, has died after being sedated by her captors.

Daniza did not recover from the sedation administered to her on Wednesday evening to facilitate her capture, Trento authorities said on Thursday.

"Last night, after almost a month of intensive monitoring, in compliance with the order which included the capture of Daniza the bear, conditions were made to take safe action with a sedative,” Trento authorities said in a statement, according to La Stampa.

Provincial authorities added that they had also captured one of Daniza’s two cubs and fitted it with an ear tag so that it could be monitored, before releasing the animal.

An autopsy will be carried out on Daniza on Thursday.

A team of specialists had been searching for the bear since she attacked a man, Daniele Maturi, who was foraging for mushrooms in the woods near Pinzolo during the Ferragosto weekend in August.

Fortuately Maturi survived, suffering bites and scratches to his wrist, leg, knee and back.

But fears were raised for the safety of Trentino’s population and the bear’s capture was ordered by local authorities.

“The security of the inhabitants of Trentino is a primary concern that must be protected,” the environment minister wrote in a letter sent to Province of Trentino after the attack.

However, this security risk was denied by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), which opposed her capture.

Speaking to The Local days after the attack, Massimiliano Rocco, head of the Species Programme at WWF Italy said: “What happened the other day is exceptional.

“It happened because a mushroom forager met a family of bears which was the cause. But there is no real danger.”

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Rocco added that it was “very possible” for people to live alongside bears as long as they take necessary precautions.

Since authorities ordered the bear’s capture, animal lovers and environmentalists have united under the hashtag #iostocondaniza in a social media campaign to prevent her capture.

On a Facebook page created by the animal rights website, several animal lovers have posted “selfies” of their pets and toy animals with a sign reading “#iostocondaniza” (I support Daniza).

Around ten brown bears were reintroduced to Trento as part of the Life Ursus scheme about 20 years ago. Now there are around 40 or 50 living in the area.

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