'Escape genius' bear scales three electric fences, 13-foot high barrier in daring breakout

Forest rangers in Italy are on the hunt for a “genius” brown bear that reportedly escaped captivity by scaling three electric fences and a 13-foot high barrier.

The Province of Trento Press Office released an image of the fugitive bear, dubbed M49 by officials, on Wednesday that indicated the animal was last seen on the slopes of the Marzola mountain the previous night at 10:54. Officials say the bear was caught on a camera trap in an area not far from where it was seen early Tuesday morning.

"Escape genius" bear was last seen on the slopes of the Marzola mountain Tuesday night. 

"Escape genius" bear was last seen on the slopes of the Marzola mountain Tuesday night.  (Province of Trento Press Office)

M49 was captured on Sunday but several hours later, the bear was able to bypass three electric fences and a 13-foot barrier unharmed, the BBC reported.

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Trentino's governor Maurizio Fugatti gave rangers the authority to kill the animal if given the chance, as its ability to climb over a 7,000 volt fence shows how “dangerous” the bear is.

Trentino's governor Maurizio Fugatti is seen walking along the electric fence that M49 was said to climb over. 

Trentino's governor Maurizio Fugatti is seen walking along the electric fence that M49 was said to climb over.  (Facebook)

“If M49 approaches areas inhabited, foresters are allowed to shoot it down,” translation of Fugatti’s comments read. “The fact that the bear managed to bypass an electrified seven-wire 7,000-volt fence, certified by the ministry and by Ispra, demonstrates the fact that these specimens were dangerous and there was a public safety problem that justified the order of capture.”

Orders to kill the bear have sparked anger amongst animal rights advocates who have criticized the government over faulty fencing as the reason the bear was able to escape. WWF Italy suggested coyly that the fence was likely “not working properly, since bears do not fly”.

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Italy's League for the Abolition of Hunting commended the bear’s escape efforts calling it an “escape genius … gifted with superpowers akin to a hero of Marvel Comics.”