Papillon the bear must be set free, says Italy’s environment minister

After being recaptured after 42 days on the run, the bear’s fate is the subject of intense debate

Italy’s environment minister has waded into the debate over the future of the country’s most famous bear, declaring that the animal – recaptured this week for a third time – must be returned to the wild.

Sergio Costa said in a Facebook post on Wednesday that the bear, nicknamed Papillon after Henri Charrière’s memoir about escaping from a French penal colony, did not deserve to be repeatedly put back into captivity.

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