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Inquiry Opened Into Bear's Death in Vladivostock

A Himalayan black bear, similar to the one shot by police in the city of Nakhkodka. flowcomm

VLADIVOSTOK — Investigators in Russia's far eastern Primorye region said Wednesday they have opened an inquiry to establish whether a rare bear, roaming the streets in the city of Nakhkodka, was lawfully shot by police.

Police shot the animal dead in early September, saying the carnivore behaved aggressively and was a threat to humans.

The inquiry was opened after media reports that the Himalayan black bear, listed as an endangered species in Russia, was not as dangerous as police said it was.

"The bear demonstrated no aggression, and its whereabouts allowed police to ensure safety of local residents through a more humane method," the regional investigators said in a statement.

Investigators are now deciding whether to file animal cruelty charges.

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