An Italian bear famous for breaking into a bakery dies after being hit by a car | Italy

Italians are mourning the death of a rare brown bear, famous for its treks to small mountain villages in the Abruzzo region.

The Marascan bear, known as Juan Carrito, was killed after being hit by a car in the town of Castel de Sangro on Monday afternoon.

“It was with great pain that I learned of the news of the death of Juan Carreto, the best-known and most celebrated Marsican bear of Abruzzo,” said the regional chief, Marco Marsilio. “His loss not only saddens Abruzzo, but the whole world that discovered Abruzzo and the beauty of bears through numerous videos [of Carrito] Since he was a cub.”

Carito became known for his outings in populated areas, and the visits were made even more daring after two failed attempts to re-establish him. The town considered “home” was Roccaraso, a ski resort where a batch of freshly baked biscuits was mocked after breaking into a bakery in late 2021.

Carito was also seen drinking from a fountain in the village, often staying overnight, sleeping among the pines before going for food, rummaging through chests and eating leftover pizza and sandwiches.

The theft of the biscuits led to the bear’s capture and exile to a remote area in the mountains, but he later returned, which led to his second capture in March of last year and a period in an enclosure. An attempt to recreate him also fails, and Karito returns to Roccarasu, where he was spotted earlier this month on a ski slope.

One of the explanations for Karito’s sociability was his upbringing: he was one of four cubs born to a bear named Amarina. It was the rarity of the event—on average, Martian females give birth to between one and three cubs—that the family attracted much attention. One of the first villages where Amarina and her cubs appeared was Carito, hence the name.

Marsican is an endangered subspecies of the brown bear that lives in the Apennine Mountains that stretch across the regions of Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise.

Their numbers across the region have dwindled to about 50 over the past two decades, thought to be the result of illegal hunting or the animals being hit by cars.

“We are absolutely shocked,” Mina Ricci, WWF’s regional representative, told the L’Presse news agency. Unfortunately, this was a death none of us wanted to hear about.

Luciano Dalfsono, an MP for the Democratic Party, said Carreto’s death was sad news “for all of us in Abruzzo”, adding that Carreto would be remembered for his “irreverent and free nature”.

People have also taken to social media to express their grief. “Juan was one of us,” one commenter wrote on Twitter.