11 year old Russian boy mauled to death by 2 brown bears trying to take photo. Investigators seek to determine negligence of zoo operators.
The boy, who was only identified as Nikita, had approached the wild animals in a bid to impress two girls at the small zoo in the Dagomys district of Sochi, the dailymail reports.
He was able to enter an unlocked enclosure that housed a separate cage for the bears on the evening of August 4th. Local media reported the incident occurring in the Sochi village of Dagomys.
‘He opened the gate, went in, wanting to take a picture,’ one resident told Russian media. ‘He slapped the bears’ paws to show how cool he was.’
The animals in turn dragged the boy into a hole that had been dug under a cage inside the enclosure.
“He was all broken’
‘They were tossing him around like a ball,’ the resident said. ‘He was all broken.’
The bears were shot by order of law enforcement officers – the forensic scientists had no way to safely get the child’s body out of the enclosure, Russian media reported.
‘It is so scary what has happened,’ his great-aunt Evgenia Mikhailova, 57, told local media.
It remained unclear how the boy was able to make his way into the enclosure.
An investigation has been opened to establish the circumstances of the incident, the legality and conditions of compliance with the safety of keeping wild bears by the management of a commercial organization along with whether negligence led to the boy’s death.