Wild animals: Bruno the bear is JJ1 from Italy

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Wild animals: Bruno the bear is JJ1 from Italy
Wild animals: Bruno the bear is JJ1 from Italy

Bruno the bear is JJ1 from Italy

The genetic analysis of the bear hair found on May 10th in St. Gallenkirch in Vorarlberg clearly shows: The bear, which has been keeping people in suspense on the German-Austrian border for days and was initially nicknamed Bruno, it is "JJ1". He is therefore a brother of the bear "JJ2", who attracted attention in August 2005 in Switzerland and Tyrol.

Both animals come from the same litter in 2004. They are characterized by their extreme willingness to migrate and their low shyness of people. This also becomes clear in the large accumulation of damage and encounters in close proximity to people. The WWF is still trying to capture JJ1 alive with a team of experts.

Ten bears from Slovenia were released between 1999 and 2002 in the northern Italian province of Trentino. At least eleven young have been born so far. Researchers currently estimate the population at 18 to 20 bears. The bear family, from which JJ1 and JJ2 descend, has made itself known several times in the past through conspicuous behavior and large migration movements. As early as 2005, JJ1 activated the local bear rescue team in Trentino. At the end of March this year, a series of damage caused by JJ1 began in the southernmost distribution area of the Trentino bears, which particularly affected chicken stocks and apiaries, and more rarely also rabbits and sheep. The Trentino Provincial Response Team also once managed to fire rubber bullets at the bear the second time it returned to a place where it had caused damage.

In order to scare a bear away in the long term, as many operations as possible must take place in different places, and not only in the vicinity of damage. The chances of teaching such bears to be afraid of people in the long term are very slim. JJ1 had already been conspicuous several times in Trentino in 2005. A behavior that the bear brothers apparently learned from their mother – the bear Jurka. Because she, too, has always shown little shyness in front of people. Local experts are currently trying to catch and scare Jurka. JJ2, on the other hand, has disappeared without a trace since September 2005. It is suspected that he may have been shot down illegally.

Mother Jurka was born in Slovenia in 1998 and weighed ninety kilograms when she was caught in 2001. On May 3, 2001 she was released in Trentino. However, in March 2002 she lost the collar and tag and in June of the same year the ear tag transmitter also stopped working. In 2004 she had two boys with Joze (hence boys names JJ1 and JJ2) who was born in Slovenia in 1994 and released on May 22, 2000. Joze is the sole father of all bears born in Trentino. The releases were carried out by the Adamello Brenta Natural Park. The province of Trentino is responsible for bear management. © WWF Germany

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