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Russian bears hunt Finnish border guards

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Photo: a bear attacked a border guard. Source: yle.fi/Olli Leino / Luke
Photo: a bear attacked a border guard. Source: yle.fi/Olli Leino / Luke

In Kuusamo, Finland, near the Vartius Border Station, a bear attacked a border guard. The border guard fell to the ground and played dead, causing the bear to leave him alone without causing any harm, according to Iltalehti.

During an evening jog, the border guard was listening to music with headphones and did not notice any movement around him. Suddenly, the bear attacked from a ditch. The border guard survived by playing dead in this situation.

"The border guard couldn't move. He said he simply kept his eyes closed and lay face down on the ground. Eventually, he felt the bear starting to move away, and after a while, the bear was no longer visible nearby," said Kimmo Piiroinen, the chairman of the wildlife care association.

The Kuusamo Wildlife Care Association received a request for official assistance from the police. According to Piiroinen, there were even two bears present during the incident.

"With two dogs, we followed the bear's tracks. We walked about a kilometer behind them. We no longer saw the bear and walked another 1.5 kilometers in the opposite direction, but there were no clearings that the bear could have left behind," said Piiroinen.

According to Piiroinen, the nearby Kainuu brigade had previously received reports of a mother bear and a cub born last year.

Piiroinen cannot confirm if these are the same bears in this case, as a total of nine bears move and reside in the relatively small area.

There are many abandoned film sets here, so the bears have already become accustomed to the smell of humans. Therefore, they may no longer fear humans.

According to Piiroinen, an attack on a person is not normal behavior for a bear. Similar situations can arise if a bear is protecting its cub or in heat. The mating season for female bears only begins in the middle of summer.

However, bears would not simply attack without reason. If a bear encounters a person, for example, while berry picking, it is advisable to slowly return the same way. If the bear attempts to attack, shouting at it might help. Playing dead is also an option, as it worked for the border guard in this case. Climbing a tree is not recommended, as a bear can climb much faster.

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