A WOUNDED bear mauled a hunter to death in revenge for shooting it before dying from its injuries.
Graphic photos show the 62-year-old man's mutilated body in a forest in Russia with the brown bear lying dead nearby.
The hunter, who has not been identified but had been reported as missing, is understood to have shot and injured the wild animal from a platform in a tree in the Tulun district of Irkutsk region.
Local media believe the man climbed down the tree to check on the bear, which he thought dead.
However, the beast which would have been mortally wounded at the time, attacked the hunter on the ground.
"When a 62-year-old man climbed down, the mortally wounded bear attacked and killed him,” independent Russian news agency Interfax said in its report.
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“The carcass of the animal was found 50 metres from the place where the man died.”
The report described the hunter's skull as "crushed" – an indication of the violence of the assault. The man also suffered claw and fang wounds.
“The mortally wounded predator managed to inflict an injury from which the hunter died,” the regional office of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs is quoted as saying.
The gruesome scene was discovered after a search party had been organised in the Siberian region.
It is not the first time humans are attacked by bears in Russia.
In 2021, camper Yevgeny Starkov, 42, was eaten by a bear as his three friends could only watch in horror before walking for seven hours with no shoes to raise the alarm.
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The hungry predator lunged at the isolated friends in a Russian national park with its "big head dripping with saliva", survivor Anton Shelkunov recalled at the time.
Shelkunov said the bear was no more than seven metres from the men who had been visiting the Yergaki Nature Park, in the Krasnoyarsk region of Siberia.
Terrified at the salivating beast, they all fled their camping spot.
But victim Starkov was unable to escape in time, and was torn and gnawed by the drooling beast.
In 2017, Russian hunter Alexei Koptyakov miraculously survived the shocking attack of a blood-thirsty bear and had his chewed skull reconstructed with part of his pelvis.
The 29-year-old also had his nose and mouth ripped off by the flesh-eating predator.
Alexei escaped death after two brutal assaults by the angry beast and was so horrendously injured that several cars refused to stop after he had managed to crawl to a nearby road.
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In the United States, meanwhile, a hunter savaged by massive grizzly bear was left needing 90 stitches in his head after fighting off the raging beast in 2017.
The hunter, Tom Sommers, was left with a 16-inch gash to his head after surviving a savage attack in Montana in which the beast charged at home from 30ft in less than four seconds.
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