A brown bear in Italy has been recaptured after its second escape of the year from a wildlife park.
The 4-year-old bear escaped from Casteller wildlife park on July 27 by climbing over a 13-foot-tall metal barrier and three electric fences, Fox News previously reported. He spent 42 days on the run before officials in the province of Trentino in northern Italy finally trapped the bear again on Monday.
The bear is named M49 but has been nicknamed “Papillon” after the 1973 movie about a prison escape starring Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman.
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Province officials said the bear lost weight during its time out in the wild, which enabled him to slip his radio collar and made him more difficult to track down. Despite the weight loss, veterinarians found the bear to be in good health when he was returned to the park.
Papillon has escaped three times now. He was recaptured in April after getting loose last year, UPI reported. But he escaped again with a female bear within hours of being caught that time.
The bear is named M49 but has been nicknamed “Papillon” after the 1973 movie about a prison escape. (Press Office of the Autonomous Province of Trento)
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The park is strengthening its bear enclosure in order to prevent more escapes.
Alpine brown bears are considered an endangered species, with fewer than 100 remaining in the province, the BBC previously reported.
The park is strengthening its bear enclosure in order to prevent more escapes. (Press Office of the Autonomous Province of Trento)
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The European Union has worked to restore the bear population, but there has been some controversy over the animals, according to the report. A bear attacked two men walking on a mountain path in Trentino in June.
And in May, an alarming encounter with a bear was recorded on video as a man guided a 12-year-old boy down a hillside with a bear looming behind the child in the same province.
In May, an alarming encounter with a bear was recorded on video as a man guided a 12-year-old boy down a hillside with a bear looming behind the child. (Storyful/Louis Calliari)
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“I believe the bear behaved well,” the boy told Italian news network RAI after the incident.
In Papillon’s case, officials said they don’t believe he had any encounters with humans during his escape but was responsible for some property damage, UPI reported.
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