Authorities Say Man Was Killed Trying to Take a Selfie With a Bear
A man was mauled by a bear when he allegedly tried to take a selfie with it in India's Nabarangpur District.
On Wednesday, taxi driver Prabhu Bhatara was driving a group of passengers from Kotapad to Papadahandi when he stopped the SUV to relieve himself in a nearby forest. Bhatara spotted the wounded bear on his way back to the car, the Hindustan Times reported.
Despite warnings from his passengers, Bhatara reportedly approached the bear while it was drinking water from a pond. As he was getting his selfie, Bhatara slipped and got too close to the bear. That's when the bear attacked Bhatara.
While some of the passengers filmed the attack, others attempted to distract the wild animal by throwing rocks and sticks at it, Newsweek reported. In a video, a stray dog can be seen trying to fight the bear in a failed attempt to rescue Bhatara.
The attack occurred six miles away from the closest forest office, so forest rangers could not come to Bhatara's aid in time. According to forest ranger Dhanurjaya Mohapatra, he died on the spot. Rangers were able to recover his body after they tranquilized the bear.
This is not the first wild animal selfie in Odisha that has ended in death. According to the Hindustan Times, two others have occurred in the past year, both involving wild elephants.
In 2014, the number of bear selfies in the U.S. reached such dangerous proportions that the U.S. Forest Service warned people not to take them. “Bears are unpredictable, wild animals and may attack if threatened,” Forest Supervisor Nancy Gibson said in a statement. “We can't have visitors creating dangerous situations for themselves and others. People are risking serious injury or death if they get too close to a bear.”