Russian Bear Attacks

A Kamchatka brown bear killed by sport hunters.

With a black bear attack in the news here in the US, this might be a good time to look at some recent bear news from elsewhere. In the Komi region of Russia, a lean year caused by a heatwave has brown bears raiding crops, killing livestock, and despoiling graves. One brown bear was killed Monday in the Tyva area of Siberia after trying to attack people.

Brown bears from around the world, including the grizzlies, Kodiaks, and Alaskan browns of North America and the Kamchatka bears of Russia, are now regarded as belonging to the same species. It's interesting to note in one of the articles above that Russian officials advise fighting back if attacked by one of these animals. In North America, the more common advice is to try playing dead. Neither method has a good success rate. The size and weaponry of the animal mean even brief, defensive attacks can be fatal. In the opening frame of the slide show below, you'll see the claws of a brown, which can be five inches long.

Wayne Allison's photos of grizzlies:


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