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Russian Nature Reserve Releases Comic Book on Dealing With Bears

The comic includes a warning not to feed bears as they are likely to demand more food and then attack people.

A nature reserve in Russia's Far East Kamchatka region has produced a comic book of instructions on how to avoid meeting a bear and what to do in the event of an encounter.

"Never feed a bear: it will quickly become impudent, demand more food and then attack people," reads one of the tips, published Wednesday on the website of the Kronotsky reserve and accompanied by a cartoon of a bear stealing food from hapless campers.

The nature reserve was prompted to produce the comic books by a recent increase in the number of bear attacks on local fishermen and people out walking, the reserve said in a statement.

"Our nature reserve had the task of informing people about an important, serious issue in an accessible and memorable format," Nadezhda Belyakova, who works in the reserve's souvenirs department and who came up with the idea of the comic book, was quoted as saying on Kronotsky's website.

The comic will be distributed free of charge among visitors to the nature reserve, as well as to residents of Kamchatka, the statement said.

The Kronotsky nature reserve is home to more than 800 brown bears, according to its website. There are more than 15,000 brown bears living on the Kamchatka Peninsula, the Argumenty i Fakty newspaper reported.

June is a particularly dangerous time of year to encounter a bear, as they are often still hungry after hibernation and food can be scarce, the regional Emergency Situations Ministry warned on its website earlier this month.

In June 2014 a brown bear killed a woman near the village of Nikolevka in the Kamchatka region while she was out collecting ferns with her husband, Argumenty i Fakty reported at the time.

The regional branch of the Emergency Situations Ministry issued its own advice for Kamchatka residents earlier this month. The tips included singing loudly while walking in forested areas to avoid taking brown bears by surprise.

Contact the author at newsreporter@imedia.ru

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