Man mauled to death by bear while running through woods in Italy

  • 09/04/2023
The Marsican brown bear.
The Marsican brown bear. Photo credit: Getty Images

A runner has been killed by a wild bear in Italy, sparking calls for action as the animal's numbers increase.

Andrea Papi, 26, went jogging on a woodland path near his village in Caldes, in the Trentino region, on Wednesday.

His girlfriend raised the alarm with police after he failed to return for dinner.

A search and rescue operation found his body with severe wounds to his neck, arms and chest consistent with a wild animal attack, and an autopsy concluded that he had been fatally mauled by a bear.

The Daily Mail reports a broken branch covered in blood was found nearby which he may have used in an attempt to fight off the animal.

"His last words to me were 'I love you. I will see you for dinner.' He was a lovely, golden boy and we used to go on long walks together in the hills," his mother Franca said, according to the Daily Mail.

"Maybe if he has taken his dog with him he would still be here. He would have gone for the bear to protect Andrea."

It's believed the culprit is one of around 100 endangered brown bears, which were being introduced to the region to bolster their numbers.

The animal will now be hunted down and killed, however the attack has sparked calls for a wider cull.

Daily newspaper T also reports Papi's family intends to sue the province and the state for reintroducing the bears.