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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 October, 2004, 16:10 GMT 17:10 UK
Romanian killer bear had rabies
Brown bear
Romania has many brown bears
The authorities in Brasov, central Romania, have declared a rabies alert after an infected brown bear killed two men and injured six others.

Brasov is under quarantine and a close watch is being kept on animals there.

The forested area on the edge of the city where the attack took place on Saturday is being sealed off.

Romanian television says doctors have started vaccinating more than 100 people who came into contact with the rabid bear or its victims.

Foraging for food

Believed to be a she-bear, the animal attacked five people out picking mushrooms and fell on three others in another part of the woods. One man is said to have died at the scene.

Hunters shot and killed the bear several hours after the attack. The animal had also attacked an ambulance sent to help.

Tests conducted at the Pasteur Institute in Bucharest confirmed the bear had rabies.

A hospital official in Brasov told the AFP news agency that a second injured man died "after his condition weakened, due to being diabetic. His death was not caused by rabies".

Cameraman Ciprian Oana of private Pro TV Brasov said he had visited the scene.

"I was asked to help with the transport of the injured, I got blood all over my hands, that is why I think it is necessary to be vaccinated," he said.

Police have been mobilised to patrol the outskirts of Brasov to stop bears reaching residential areas and rummaging through dustbins.

A municipal official quoted by AFP, George Scripcaru, said people on the outskirts had been "unknowingly encouraging" wild animals to forage for food.

Romania has thousands of brown bears living in the wild and they often come close to Brasov, a city of 350,000 people surrounded by large forested areas, in the mountainous Transylvania region.


SEE ALSO:
Bear carnage in Romanian forest
16 Oct 04  |  Europe
Romania's bears at bay
03 Jul 04  |  Science/Nature
Fresh fears for Alaska's bears
18 Aug 04  |  Americas
Bear's hospital visit turns fatal
18 Jun 04  |  Americas
Bear kills campaigner in Alaska
08 Oct 03  |  Americas


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