Zookeeper famous for kissing bears loses leg after being mauled

Animal activist Vera kissed a bear during an interview in 2015.

A zookeeper famed for kissing bears has had her leg amputated after being savagely attacked by one of the animals.

Passionate activist Vera Blishch was reportedly hit by the bear's paws when she was instructing a new employee at the Ussuriysk Municipal Zoo in east Russia.

She was rushed to hospital on Wednesday morning with an open fracture and a scalping injury.

Doctors later said they had to amputate her lower leg as a result of the attack.

Vera is known for a campaign to save animals hit by severe flooding in the far east of Russia in 2015.

She demonstrated how she kissed a bear during an interview the same year as she explained about getting up close and personal with the animal, according to the Siberian Times.

She said: "It is very dangerous to do this.

She was attacked by a bear at the Ussuriysk Municipal Zoo on Wednesday morning.

"A bear is the most dangerous predator on earth. Bears are trained almost nowhere except for Russia.

"Even by just kissing the bear now I might lose my head within a split second.

"To work with a bear, you must have a special feeling.

"We say it's a feeling sent by God. You must feel a bear."

Alexander Fedyaikin, chief doctor of Ussuriyak emergency ambulance told the news outlet: "The attack happened 9:30 in the morning.

"A zookeeper was instructing a new member of staff and went too close to a cage.

"A bear struck with its paw, causing an open fracture and a scalping injury."

Workers at the Ussuriyak Municipal Zoo have reportedly confirmed to UssurMedia that Vera lost her leg to the knee.


JOIN THE CONVERSATION


next