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Irkutsk Police Organize Anti-Bear Patrols

Local police published on their website photos of an aggressive bear they were forced to shoot.

Irkutsk police have joined forces with hunters in the city of Bratsk in an effort to stave off aggressive bears out searching for food close to people's homes.

Regional police said in a statement on their website that on Wednesday, the first day of the anti-bear patrol, they had been forced to shoot an adult male who had killed two dogs and was rooting around in a residential area.

Locals earlier killed three bears in separate incidents. One was spotted near a children's camp in the city center, another ran in front of a traffic police car, while a third killed nine cattle and was shot, police said.

Local news agency Teleinform said that in 2012 Bratsk residents had reported more than 102 bear sightings.

Media reports speculated that the animals had not stored up enough fat to survive their winter hibernation period and were hungry.

Police said the anti-bear patrols would run indefinitely until they received further instructions.

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