Russian authorities shoot three bears in populated areas

May 7, 2013 at 7:51 AM

MOSCOW, May 7 (UPI) -- Authorities in Russia said they killed two bears that had dug up a coffin in a cemetery and were eating human remains.

A third bear at the cemetery in Yelizovo in Russia's Far East wasn't killed, RIA Novosti reported Tuesday.

Authorities in the regions of Kamchatka and Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk issued an alert to residents to be on the lookout for Kamchatka bears -- a subspecies of brown bear -- after recent sightings. The bears have awoken from winter hibernation and are heading to populated areas in search of food.

In Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, a bear was spotted along a local highway begging passersby for food, a local Korsakovsky forestry authority said.

"When we arrived at the location, we saw passing motorists feeding a bear by the highway and posing for pictures near it," the spokesman said.

Several attempts to scare the bear away using fireworks and warning shots failed so officials killed the bear, RIA Novosti reported.

There are approximately 18,000 Kamchatka bears in the Kamchatka Peninsula. They can grow to be more than 9 feet in length and 1,500 pounds.

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