Saturday, August 2, 2008

Bear kills man in Romanian town

A brown bear has mauled a man to death in a wooded area in Brasov, a city in Romania's Carpathian mountains, a local official said.

A hiker found the body early on Friday some 500 metres from the city centre.

"A bear dragged the man for about 5-6 metres towards the forest and tried to bury him. It didn't succeed so it abandoned him there," Flavius Barbulescu, head of local animal management, was quoted saying on Romanian television.

Barbulescu said forensic tests showed the bear had killed the man.

Bears are occasionally seen on the streets of Brasov, a city of 300,000 people in the heart of the Carpathian mountains that host roughly half of Europe's brown bears.

Searching for food, they sometimes crush garbage cans and enter buildings. But deaths are relatively rare.

Cristina Lapis, head of a bear sanctuary near Brasov, said three people had been killed in the last five years.

In the latest case, however, the man may have been already dead when the animal came across the body, she said, despite the official report.

"It is rare for bears to just attack people," Ms Lapis said.


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