Polar bear jumps out of sauna and attacks Russian man in remote ArcticOctober 7, 2020
Polar bear jumps out of a sauna and attacks Russian herder: Victim survives with serious head injuries after playing dead
- A mother bear with two cubs mauled reindeer herder Vladimir Sleptsov, 50
- The attack took place on the Bolshoy Lyakhovsky island in the Russian Arctic
- Sleptsov called his relatives for help and was flown by helicopter to a hospital
- Polar bears are protected but in that area are ‘hungry and extremely dangerous’
An angry mother polar bear emerged from a sauna with her two cubs to attack and seriously wound a Russian reindeer herder.
Vladimir Sleptsov suffered head, arm and leg injuries in a brawl with the angry beast on Bolshoy Lyakhovsky island in the Arctic. The 50-year-old only survived the ordeal by playing dead.
The man told how he had gone by snowmobile to check on a camp used by herders when the three bears suddenly emerged from the wooden hut used as a banya, or steam sauna.
The mother bear lunged at him, gashing the side of his face in a terrifying confrontation.
Vladimir Sleptsov, 50, went to investigate a camp used by fellow reindeer herders on Russia’s remote Arctic island Bolshoy Lyakhovsky. When he arrived at the camp, a female polar bear with two cubs leapt out of a sauna and viciously attacked him. He is pictured left and right, after the attack
Some have called for the bear that attacked Sleptsov to be shot, despite a law protecting the large predators. Alexander Tastygin, president of the Kyymaan Hunting Club, warned that hungry bears on Russia’s Arctic island had become ‘extremely dangerous’ [File photo]
A wounded Sleptsov told how he played dead, and the bears eventually departed towards the sea.
The summer grazing camp was deserted at the time but Sleptsov managed to call his relatives who summoned help.
Russia’s FSB security service flew in with an Mi-8 helicopter and took him to hospital in remote mainland village Tiksi.
‘First I saw a destroyed house at the camp used to store food,’ said herder Sleptsov after receiving medical treatment.
‘The food was scattered all over the place by the bears…
‘Suddenly a huge bear with two cubs, born last year, judging by their size, jumped out of the sauna door and stood right next to me.’
The mother attacked him and some reports said Sleptsov used a knife to defend himself.
Sleptsov said that when he pretended to be dead, the bears moved away.
Vladimir Sleptsov, 50, suffered head, arm and leg injuries in a brawl with the angry beast on Bolshoy Lyakhovsky island (pictured) in the Arctic
Badly wounded, he managed to call his relatives who summoned help.
He denied earlier reports that he had been attacked while sleeping in his tent on a goose-hunting trip.
Now there are calls to locate and kill the bear after its attack on a human.
President of Kyymaan Hunting Club, Alexander Tastygin, said: ‘Polar bears are protected in the Red Book, but this man-eater should be found…and shot.
‘If you don’t, a future sacrifice is inevitable.’
He warned that hungry polar bears on Russia’s Arctic islands are now ‘extremely dangerous’.
Sleptsov’s condition is ‘stable’ after the attack, said Alla Andreeva, chief doctor at Bulunskaya Central Regional Hospital.
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