A rare Marsican Brown Bear, Ursus arctos marsicanus, has died during an operation to fit it with a radio collar in the Abruzzo National Park in the Appenine Mountains of Italy on Wednesday 18 April 2018. The Bear had been captured in a trap with a view to fitting it with a radio collar, which would have enabled scientists to track its movements, helping them to gain a better understanding of the behaviour of this rare subspecies, but suffered a reaction to an anaesthetic it was administered to it and asphyxiated.
The Mascarine Brown Bear is a subspecies of the Brown Bear, Ursus arctos, found only in the Appenine Mountains of Italy. They differ from other Brown Bears chiefly in their behaviour, with young Bears maturing more quickly, due to a higher fat content in the milk of the females, and the adult Bears being less aggressive, making them much less dangerous to Humans than other Brown Bears. There are currently thought to be only about 50 of this subspecies surviving, all within the Abruzzo National Park or its immediate surroundings, for which reason the subspecies is considered to be Critically Endangered under the terms of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species.
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