ACTIVISTS have reacted with fury after a rogue wild bear linked to attacks on hikers was shot dead to protect the public.
The animal was put down after two attacks on humans dating back to 2015 yet campaigners said its life was more important than hiker’s safety.
They called the killing “barbaric” and demanded tourists boycott the Trentino region of Dolomite Mountains in Italy where the bear was killed.
The bear, known as “KJ2” by rangers, was known to be a danger to the public after it badly mauled a 70-year-old hiker in July.
Angelo Metlicovec only survived by luck when the bear was distracted by his pet dog, allowing him to leap to safety in a gully.
The bear bit chunks out his arm and tried to tear out his throat.
Many believe the same female brown bear mauled a man two years earlier and had never been caught.
The Italian Association for the Defence of Animals and the Environment (AIDAA) said: “We encouraged the province not to proceed with the killing, because it is useless and without return, but obviously political pressures have been stronger than common sense.
“So far we have heard of about 30 cancellations of houses and hotels affecting some 100 tourists who have decided not to pass their holidays in Trentino after the barbaric killing of the bear.”
But, Ugo Rossi, the governor of Trentino region said: ‘When the danger rises beyond a certain threshold, we have to proceed in putting down the animal to ensure people’s safety.
“The bear had already attacked a day tripper two years ago. Better this way than having a child wounded.“I don’t want to gloat but big carnivores have to be put down, it happens all over the world.”