Bear Sentenced To Death For Mauling Father And His Son During Hike
Authorities in Italy have sentenced a bear to be put to death after it attacked two hikers.
Fabio Misseroni, 59, and his son Christian Misseroni, 28, were taking in the sights and sounds of nature at Monte Peller in the country's north last week.
During their trek, a brown bear popped out on their path and confronted them.
What happened next was a terrifying encounter that involved Fabio leaping onto the massive animal to stop Christian's leg from being mauled and allow him to make a getaway. During the brave melee, the 59-year-old broke his leg in three places.
The bear eventually ran off after Christian started clapping and waving his hands at the animal.
Following the attack, Trentino governor Maurizio Fugatti signed an executive order calling for the bear to be put to death for mauling the two men.
The order has sparked criticism and outrage from animal welfare and rights activists.
An online petition has been started by Italy's branch of the World Wildlife Fund, which has so far gathered a whopping 22,000 signatures.
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The petition says: "Incredibly, this sentence was issued without a 'trial' as the dynamics that led the bear to injure two people are still unclear (were puppies present?)
"He is not the first bear to be sentenced to death in Trentino. For this reason, the 'automatic' culling of all bears involved in close encounters or accidents must be stopped.
"[We are calling for the modification of] the text of the Action Plan for the Conservation of the Bear in the Alps (PACOBACE), which provides for the possibility of culling even in the event of bears who have simply done what nature has taught them.
"We are on the side of the people but also of the bear, so we ask you to stay with us to make sure that he can continue to live, free, in his home, that is the mountain.
Italy's environment minister has personally written to the governor to persuade him not to go ahead with the cull.
Sergio Costa said more details about the circumstances was needed, adding: "Only after collecting certain scientific information on the animal involved in the accident with the two citizens we will be able to evaluate technical solutions that, in my opinion, must not result in killing the animal."
No date has been set yet for the bear to be put to death.
Featured Image Credit: Marshmallow (Creative Commons)