People Are Cheering For A Zoo Bear Which Escaped And Is Evading Capture

Rangers in Italy are on the hunt for an escape genius who has managed to flee a wildlife enclosure and evade recapture.

The brown bear, named M49, is a 149-kilogram beast that somehow managed to scramble over three electric fences, jump a four-metre high barrier and disappear into the woods in the northern province of Trentino.

The animal escaped a month ago, with an order issued for its capture after Trentino President Maurizio Fugatti deemed it to be a risk to humans.

It was caught on Sunday after being spotted several times approaching inhabited areas, but within an hour it had made another incredible escape. As a result, Fugatti stepped up the order, urging forest rangers to kill the bear if sighted.

A brown bear swimming in Berlin. Not M49. Photo: Getty

“If M49 approaches inhabited areas, forest rangers have permission to shoot it down,” Fugatti said, according to the Guardian.

“The fact that the bear managed to climb over an electric fence with seven wires at 7,000 volts demonstrates that this specimen is dangerous and a public safety problem.”

By Tuesday, the bear had been spotted, but not re-captured.

Environment minister, Sergio Costa, pleaded with rangers to keep M49 alive.

"I appeal to the political forces and also to those who are following the operations: don't shoot!" he tweeted on Wednesday.

The World Wildlife Fund Italy also urged the president to rescind his order to kill while ridiculing the efforts of authorities to keep the bear in an enclosed space.

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"A solid electrified fence with adequate power is an insurmountable barrier even for the most crafty bears," WWF Italy said in a statement. "Evidently the structure was not functioning properly, given that the bears do not fly".

Animal advocates have taken to social media to urge M49 to keep running.

Brown bears were reintroduced to Trentino in 2000 after their population dwindled to just four.

M49 was part of the project dubbed Life Ursus which has helped the population increase to about 50.

For now, the bear remains on the run.