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Serial escape artist bear 'Papillon' on the loose again in Italy

Serial escape artist bear 'Papillon' on the loose again in Italy
A brown bear with a history of escapes climbed over three electric fences and broke through a metal barrier to get loose again in Italy. Photo courtesy of the Province of Trento

July 28 (UPI) -- Officials in an Italian region said a serial escape artist bear nicknamed Papillon once again is on the loose after breaking through the barrier of his reinforced pen.

The bear, officially known as M49, broke free from his enclosure at a wildlife park in Castellar, Trento province, where he was housed after being recaptured from a previous escape earlier in 2020.

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Papillon, named French writer Henri Charriere's autobiographical novel about his famous prison escape, had to climb three electric fences before breaking through a barrier of metal bars, officials said.

"The fence was fortified and despite that he was able to break through the very resistant fence that was partially electric, he had a desire to escape stronger than a 6,000 volt fence," a local government spokesman told CNN.

"The problem is he is too wild and has a strong instinct to return to the forest."

Officials said Papillon is outfitted with a GPS tracking collar, and the Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research has been notified.

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