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Dentist killed by bear while he gathers mushrooms as attacks rise in Siberia

By The Siberian Times reporter
26 August 2016

One region has shot 58 ravaging brown bears this year because they intrude too close to settlements, destroying livestock.

Hunting is no longer limiting population growth, with a 3,000 rouble ($446)  tax on each killed bear seen as too high by many locals. Picture: Igor Shpilenok

In the Far Eastern region of Magadan, gamekeepers and police are searching for a female bear which killed dentist Oleg Cherenkov near Yansky. The 47 year old man had been gathering mushrooms with his wife when the bear attacked. 

His widow Oksana said: 'At some point we split and went into different directions. And then I heard Oleg screaming... I realised that he was quite far away.  

Oleg Cherepkov

The 47 year old dentist Oleg Cherepkov had been gathering mushrooms with his wife when the bear attacked.  Picture: Odnoklassniki

'I ran in this direction, screaming, and suddenly saw two bear cubs. I thought their mother must be near.' Oleg died at the spot, his body covered in lacerations, attacked by the mother bear.

Searches have spotted the cubs but not the mother. Locals have been warned not to venture into the forest, with the bear seen as likely to attack and kill again. 

Bear cub near Magadan


Bear cub near Magadan

Searches near Magadan have spotted the cubs but not the mother. Pictures: kbog25

In neighbouring Yakutia, some 58 brown bears have been shot this year as numbers of the animals rises to a peak of 18,550, not seen since 1960.

As across Siberia, there are a growing number of reports of bears encroaching on villages, towns and even cities, as well as mines and oil and gas pipelines. 

A death toll of eight cows, 35 horses, and 258 reindeer has been reported in the region, also known as Sakha Republic. Reasons for the encroaching bears are illegal dumps close to settlements where bears come to scavenge.

Bears at the dump


Bears at the dump


Bears at the dump

Bears scavenge at the dump near Chara village, Trans-Baikal region. Pictures: Lyubov Losolova

Feeding of the animals is also seen as encouraging the bears to come close, putting people in direct danger. 

Hunting is no longer limiting population growth, with a 3,000 rouble ($446)  tax on each killed bear seen as too high by many locals. The birth rate of bears is rising: with gamekeepers reporting a growing number of mothers with two or more cubs. 

Bear spotted near Norilsk


Bear spotted near Norilsk

'Sitting in my car... and the bear is roaming around. Doesn't allow me to fish. Fed up with this bear! It walks and walks...' Picture: Alexander Meshchaninov

In Norilsk, 3,000 kilometres northwest of Magadan, bears have been reported roaming the suburbs. Fisherman Alexander Meshchaninov had to take cover in his car as a bear refused to allow him to cast his rod. 

He filmed the incident on his dashcam. 

'Sitting in my car... and the bear is roaming around,' he complained. 'Doesn't allow me to fish. Fed up with this bear! It walks and walks... Seems that he is going to my bucket [with fish] now... '

Bear spotted near Norilsk Bear spotted near Norilsk

In Norilsk, 3,000 kilometres northwest of Magadan, bears have been reported roaming the suburbs. Pictures: Vkontakte

The man whistled and shouted at the bear but to no avail. 'Go away from here! Go away! Go your way! I'm fed up with you! Go away!,' he screamed. Finally he drove his car towards the bear, beeping. The animal finally moved. 

'The bear was scared and swam to the opposite side of the lake. After that I continued the fishing and had been fishing successfully all the next day.'

WARNING: explicit language. Bears scavenge at the dump near Chara village, Trans-Baikal region. 

Comments (2)

Mother bears will be fiercely protective of their cubs, that's their natural instinct !
I am surprised the locals are not aware of that fact ??!
Is losing your life worth some mushrooms !
Anthony Olynyk , Canada
26/08/2019 21:43
0
0
Sad to read what happened to this yet all too young man.
As a general note, few of us have probably already come across one of the many "cute" bear videos from Russia and the Russians cozy relation with them, but with a backside of the medal too, humans have to stop socializing with bears, don't feed the them and keep distance and the bears naturally shyness will prevail.
Nalle, Bluebearry village
28/08/2016 08:15
8
0
1

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