Russian Girl Killed By Bear On Her Way To The Shop
Sonya Chernigova's mutilated body was found in the centre of Yodva village in Komi republic and initially it was thought she had been attacked by wolves. However, brown bear footprints were found at the scene.
The 14-year-old sustained extensive wounds to her neck and head, which was nearly completely severed by deep bites. Her hair was also ripped out by the bear and her wounds were so severe that her dad, Sergey Chernigov, did not recognise her.
The body was discovered by a group of teenage boys who also didn't recognise the body and called the police.
Mr Chernigov went out to look for Sonya at 10pm after she didn't return from the shop, which she was visiting to buy chocolate and juice.
He said he only knew it was his daughter after he called her mobile.
He said: "I did not want to believe that it was my daughter in front of my eyes. Her face was all disfigured, it was impossible to recognise her.
"She was dressed just like all other girls, only her jacket was recognisable.
"It was all clear when I dialled her mobile number and the phone rang in the pocket of her jacket."
Local media report that bears and wolves have plagued the village of late, and it is thought the bear that killed Sonya was probably rummaging through bins for food when it attacked her.
Nikolay Gorbunov, the chairman of Udorsky District Society of Hunters and Fishermen told local newspaper Argumenti I Fakty: "Most likely, the bear was eating something at the dump. The girl happened to be close and disturbed the predator.
"Experienced hunters have studied the accident scene and confirmed there were bear footprints.
"A wolf cannot disfigure a human being in such a way. Such wounds can be inflicted only by a predator with large claws."
He added that the girl's injuries were also consistent with a bear attack, as the predators often scalp their victims.
A criminal investigation has been opened which will examine whether local officials took sufficient action to deter wild animals from the village, which is situated 145 miles north of regional capital, Syktyvkar. Hunters are expected to be given licenses to kill local bears following the attack on the schoolgirl.
Mr Chernigov said Sonya was due to turn 15 in two weeks.
He said: "We planned to get together on that day with the whole family. I had not decided on what present to get her. And now we have to bury her."
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