Text by Andrew Burmon
The summer snows on the Kamchatka Peninsula began to thaw last week just as the world press turned its spotlight on this oft-forgotten corner of Siberia. After the Russian news agency ITAR-Tass reported that two guards at the Koryakgeologia Mine near Khailino had been mauled to death by a rampaging gang of giant bears, the Associated Press picked up the story. Newspaper readers all over the world were left to gaze at the sordid headlines in bewilderment: Starving bears eat 2 men in Russia.
The articles could have been written by the Brothers Grimm. Thirty bears had surrounded Khailino and Korf, two sleepy hamlets where scared villagers refused to leave their homes. Viktor Leushkin, a Khailino town elder voiced his concern that the bears had developed a taste for human blood and the government of the Kamchatka Krai province sent out a team of hunters and snipers to quell the ursine rebellion.
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