Sunday, July 27, 2008

Bears eat workers at remote Russian mines | Weird Facts

weird facts
TERRIFIED workers at a mining compound in one of Russia's most isolated regions are refusing to go to work after a pack of giant bears attacked and ate two of their colleagues.

At least 30 of the hungry animals have been seen prowling close to the mines in northern Kamchatka in search of food, where the mangled remains of the two workers, both guards, were found last week.

The gruesome discovery has left their co-workers at the compound in the Olyotorsky district too scared to venture out. A team of snipers, with orders to shoot the bears, is now being dispatched, The Australian reports.

The Kamchatka brown bear is one of the world's largest, with males growing to around 3m and weighing up to 700kg. They can also reach speeds of 48km/h despite their size.

The peninsula, nine time zones east of Moscow and twice the size of Britain, is home to an estimated 16,000 bears.

Environmentalists argue that widespread poaching has caused a fish shortage, prompting the starving bears to become aggressive as they seek out food close to human settlements.

Their arrival has paralysed work at platinum mines owned by the Koryakgeologia company. Geologists refused to leave their compound in Mount Ledyanaya after 20 bears were seen wandering around, while at least 10 animals were spotted at nearby Penisty.

Kamchatka is not alone in facing problems with hungry bears. The mutilated remains of a man were found last month after he was attacked on nearby Sakhalin island, the third person killed by a bear this year.

Last month a woman was mauled to death by a bear that had ventured into the suburbs of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatka.

[Via - News.Com.Au]

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