Bear attacks man on Russian city street

24th September 2010, Comments 0 comments

A wild bear mauled a young man on a city street in northern Russia on Friday, wounding the victim in the neck before he managed to flee, police said.

"A 26-year-old man was attacked Friday morning in central Syktyvkar by a bear which bit him in the neck," Nadezhda Biryukova, a police spokeswoman in the city in northwestern Russia, told AFP.

"When I saw the bear, I didn't run away," the victim, Andrei Kotikov, told Life News website. "I heard from hunters that you should stand still when coming across these animals. But that knowledge didn't help me... I thought it was the end."

Kotikov, who is a weightlifter, managed to push the animal off and flee, the website reported, showing photographs of his bandaged neck and scratched back.

The bear apparently wandered into the city centre after soaring temperatures in summer destroyed its usual sources of food in the surrounding forest, the police spokeswoman said.

"There are few berries and nuts in the forest this year due to the heatwave," said Biryukova, .

Syktyvkar is the regional capital of the remote Komi region in northwest Russia. Its population is just over 230,000.

© 2010 AFP

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