VLADIVOSTOK, September 11 (RIA Novosti) – Investigators in Russia’s Far Eastern Primorye Territory said on Wednesday they had launched an inquiry to establish whether a rare bear, roaming the streets in the city of Nakhodka, was lawfully shot by police.
Police shot the animal dead in early September, saying the carnivore behaved aggressively and was a threat to humans.
The inquiry was launched after media reports that the Himalayan black bear, listed as an endangered species in Russia, was not as dangerous as police said it was.
“The bear demonstrated no aggression, and its whereabouts allowed police to ensure safety of local residents through a more humane method,” the regional branch of the Russian Investigative Committee said in a statement.
Investigators are now to decide whether charges of cruelty to animals should be filed.