Runner killed by bear, mother in a letter: “We will fight to do him justice”

Franca Ghirardini, mother of Andrea Papi: “If this tragedy has happened, perhaps not everything that could have been done has been done”

“We will fight to the end to do justice to my Andrea”. Franca Ghirardini, the mother of Andrea Papi, the 26-year-old runner killed last Wednesday by a bear on the paths of Mount Peller, in Trentino, writes it in a letter. “I wanted to tell you that my soul and that of my family is devastated by immense pain, we can’t get over it – he writes in the letter – The knowledge that Andrea was at the mercy of the bear devastates me. Andrea and Laura are the reason for living and for this I ask for respect. Andrea was born and lived here, he loved nature and respected it, his territory, its peaks, his crossings were his life. I ask all the populations who live in the territories of mountain and the administrations to make their voices heard and not to abandon us and not to let our guard down, because my whole family and I will fight to the end to do justice to my Andrea”.

“I sincerely thank you for helping us find our son to all the rescue machines, firefighters, mountain and speleological rescue, operators with search and molecular dogs, the police, the volunteers who took action and the municipal administration. I ask you one last thing – he writes – do not forget. We must restore Andrea’s dignity. With this letter of mine, I am addressing the current and previous provincial and state authorities because if this tragedy happened, evidently perhaps not everything that could be done was done. We were aware of the events that occurred over time but there were no major interventions to guarantee the safety of the population”.

“Know that we are angry and indignant – the letter continues – The system has meant that Andrea became the first announced victim. This must be sought in the management of the Ursus project which has not been able to adapt and face the increase in bears and who did not deem it necessary to act after the many attacks that have taken place in recent years. Nothing has been done”.

The Lav ruled against the order of the president of the Autonomous Province of Trento, Maurizio Fugatti, which orders the identification and killing of the bear responsible for the attack on Andrea Papi. “Our Legal Department is already working to challenge this ordinance, which has more the flavor of revenge against the bear, than the search for security through peaceful coexistence, with respect for the lives of citizens and animals”, explains the association.

“We will oppose the provision and we will appeal to the Tar”, declared Massimo Vitturi, Lav manager for the Wild Animals Area. “Lav is ready to challenge any other act that puts the lives of bears at risk, starting with the one, announced again by Fugatti, who plans to kill another 60 individuals to reduce the presence of bears in the Trentino valleys. Killing bears does not guarantee the safety of citizens, but only sheds more innocent blood which adds to the one already shed”.

“The safety of citizens is exclusively linked to the responsibility of their actions when they are in an area where bears live, brought back to Trentino by the same Autonomous Province – adds Vitturi – For this reason it is very important to know how to behave if you are in an area frequented by bears and in the event of an actual encounter with a bear”.