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Three Bears Shot in Eastern Russia Following Wave of Attacks

Three bears have been shot and killed following a recent surge of bear-related violence in eastern Russia.

On Monday, a bear attempted to "attack people" in a Kamchatka airport, Interfax reported citing local officials. A forest ranger shot and killed the "dangerous animal." No humans were injured in the incident.

Two other bears were killed on the Far East island of Sakhalin over the weekend.

One had been begging for food on a local road, but became aggressive when travelers endeavored to treat it like a pet, regional Agriculture Ministry official Andrei Zdorikov told Interfax.

The bear was provoked by a group of passers-by who tried to take pictures with it, pet it, and feed it with their hands, Zdorikov said, adding that the behavior was "completely unacceptable."

Local hunters attempted to scare the bear off, hoping it would retreat into the woods, but the animal "continued to return with enviable persistence" and had to be shot, Zdorikov was quoted as saying.

A second Sakhalin bear was shot for "behaving inadequately" by slaughtering livestock and geese in a local village and attacking a dog, Zdorikov said.

At least nine other bears have been shot in Sakhalin this year.

Most of the shootings came as a response to bears having attacked livestock. In one case, a man was reportedly injured after having stumbled over a sleeping bear while strolling through the forest. The bear in turn "jumped up out of fright and waved away with his paw, injuring the man's collarbone," Zdorikov said.

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