A Russian pensioner has died after being attacked by a Brown Bear, Ursus arctos, in Khabarovsk Krai in the Russian Far East on Wednesday 14 August 2019. Alexander Korneyev, 66, a retired railway worker, went missing while gathering Mushrooms near his home village of Suluk, about 250 km to the northeast of the state capitol, also Khabarovosk. He had apparently tried to defend himself with a pocket knife, but this had snapped. The Bear was later tracked and shot by villagers.
A Brown Bear, Ursus arctos, near Dvuhyurtochnoe on the Kamchatka Peninsula in the Russian Far East. Robert Tobler/Wikimedia Commons.
Brown Bears are highly adaptable large omnivores found across much of the Northern Hemisphere. They are extremely flexible in their dietary habits, and able to change their diet in response to Human or other environmental pressures in ways that few other large animals can manage. Whilst Bears have a fearsome reputation, and are rightly treated with great respect by people that share their environment, attacks on humans are exceptionally rare, and none has been recorded in the Suluk area before. However, there have been a string of Bear attacks in Siberia and the Russian Far East this summer, which authorities believe to be linked to a series of massive forest fires in the area, which have destroyed areas formerly available to Bears for foraging, causing them to come close to Human settlements, and thereby come into conflict with Humans.
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