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'Papillon' the escape artist bear recaptured after 42 days on the loose

'Papillon' the escape artist bear recaptured after 42 days on the loose
Papillon the bear -- officially known as M49 -- was recaptured in Italy's Trentino province 42 days after escaping from its enclosure at a wildlife park. Photo courtesy of Trentino Province 

Sept. 8 (UPI) -- A brown bear dubbed "Papillon" after repeated escapes from its enclosure in Italy was recaptured 42 days after its most recent escape.

Papillon, a 4-year-old male bear officially known as M49, escaped from its enclosure at the Casteller wildlife park in Trentino province July 27 by climbing over three electrified fences and breaking through a barrier of metal bears.

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Authorities tracked the bruin's movements in the wild and it was captured in a live trap in the Lagorai area of Trentino province. The bear was on the loose for 42 days.

Papillon, named after the protagonist of French writer Henri Charriere's autobiographical novel about his famous prison escape, was captured in good health, officials said. The provincial government said Papillon had lost about 88 pounds during his time on the loose, which apparently allowed the animal to slip free of its radio tracking collar in recent weeks.

The bear was returned to Casteller, where officials said work is underway to strengthen the enclosure and prevent future escapes.

Officials said the bear caused some minor property damage during its time on the loose, but is not believed to have had any violent encounters with humans during its time on the loose.

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Papillon had previously escaped twice in 2020. Officials said he was recaptured from a previous escape in April, and the bear escaped again only hours later with a female bear from the park.

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