Photos by Javad Abbaszadeh, Mehr News Agency
A brown bear which had ventured into villages of Eidershan and Heris south of the city of Sarab in Iran's East Azarbaijan province was shot and killed by the locals on September 5, 2011. The bear, which considered an endangered animal, had come to the villages looking for food and was roaming the orchards when it was attacked by the villagers. The animal responded angrily and caused injuries to four people one of whom had to be transferred to Emam hospital in Tabriz for treatment.
The environmental protection officers who had been alerted about the incident rushed to the scene to save the bear. However, the villagers refused to cooperate and leave the scene preventing the agents from using tranquilizer shots to neutralize the bear fearing the animal would do more harm to people before the shots would take effect. While the agents were trying to bring the situation under control, the bear was killed by the local hunters who fired eight shots at the animal acting against the orders of the officers, .
While there is no accurate count of the brown bears in the region, it is believed there aren't many of them left. So the incident has caused a stir in the province, with blames going around. This is a repeat of the incident five years ago when a brown bear made its way to Azad University in Tabriz and was subsequently killed by a a rifle shot. That time the incident had been blamed on lack of proper equipment by the environmental protection agents.
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