A wild bear in Italy has walked nearly 100 miles across rugged terrain to return to the town from which it was banished after becoming a nuisance when it raided a bakery.
The recidivist bear has twice been banished in the last few months from the alpine town of Roccaraso, in the Abruzzo region of central Italy, but to no avail.
Rangers had hoped to wean the animal off its dependence on easy pickings in the ski resort, particularly after it broke into a bakery called Dolci Momenti - Sweet Moments - and scoffed a large quantity of freshly-baked biscotti.
The animal is a Marsican brown bear, a rare sub-species which is found only in central Italy. There are only 50-60 left in the wild, making them the rarest type of bear on the planet. They are genetically different to the brown bears which live in the Alps and many other parts of Europe.
The bear’s most recent banishment happened in early March, when it was captured in a specially-designed, tube-shaped trap, and transported to a wildlife enclosure near the village of Palena in Abruzzo. From there, the bear - known locally as Juan Carrito - was released into a wild and uninhabited tract of the Maiella National Park in the Apennine mountains.
But after just 18 days of living in its natural environment, it has now turned up once again in Roccaraso. It's now expected to go back to its old ways of scavenging for food in and around the town, where it is something of a celebrity.
Rangers and officials from Italy’s ministry for ecological transition will now hold a meeting to discuss what next to do with the bear.