A polar bear bit off two fingers of a woman attempting to feed it at a zoo in a suburb of the Far East city of Khabarovsk.
The zoo's director, Andrei Dolin, said the woman thought the bear looked hungry, slipped through a barrier guarding the bear's enclosure, and extended her hand through the bars of its cage, Interfax reported Thursday.
"We didn't expect that an adult woman would cross a barrier to offer her hand to a bear — we could expect this, for example, from intoxicated youth, but not from her," Dolin said.
Dolin said the polar bear, named Gosha, was also very scared and the woman was lucky considering the size of the animal.
Zoo employees said there are signs warning visitors about the danger of crossing the barriers of the animal's enclosure, but Dolin noted that there are no federal norms in place for displaying warnings.
Police told Interfax that an investigation of the incident would be undertaken.
The injured woman was taken to a Khabarovsk region hospital.