Hungry bear gunned down in Siberia

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A wild bear who tried to attack residents after spotted prowling around a city in Siberia before savaging a pig has been shot dead by emergency officials, Russia's RIA Novosti news agency reported Monday.

The animal was first spotted by locals in Kyzyl, the capital of Siberia's Tyva region that borders Mongolia, during Russia's National Unity Day celebrations on Thursday.

He then left the city of 110,000 and went to a nearby village, where he killed a pig and attempted to attack residents before being shot by emergency ministry staff, a local official has been quoted as saying by RIA Novosti.

An exceptional heatwave that hit Russia last summer deprived the brown bears of their usual food and pushed them closer to communities.

In September a bear mauled a young man in a central street of Syktyvkar, capital of the remote Komi region in northwest Russia, wounding him in the neck before he managed to flee.

The incident prompted officials to draw up a list of practical tips for locals on how to survive encounters with bears.

The guide warns that residents should stay calm and stand still if they meet a bear. In the worst-case scenario, if the bear attacks, the victim should behave aggressively.

"Shout angrily at it and look it straight in the eyes," the guide says.

© 2010 AFP

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