INDIA (CBS Local) – A man was mauled to death by a bear after he reportedly tried to take a selfie with the animal, according to reports.
It happened in the Nabarangpur district of Odisha in India. Prabhu Bhatara spotted the injured animal on his way home from a wedding. He ignored advice from friends who told him it wasn’t a good idea to take a selfie with the bear.
It didn’t take long, according to The Independent, for the bear to strike once Bhatara was close. The incident was recorded on a cell phone, with the gruesome footage going viral after hitting the internet.
A stray dog also stepped in and bit the bear but its intervention failed to deter the larger animal. Forest ranger Dhanurjaya Mohapatra said Bhatara “died on the spot.”
He added: “The bear is being treated for its injuries.”
Selfies with bears became something of a trend in 2014 – so much so that the U.S. Forest Service was forced to warn people not to get so close to the animals, according to the paper.
Even organized animal selfies are dangerous, but not necessarily for the humans involved. Activists have warned that in some popular holiday destinations, animals like monkeys, tigers, and elephants are being abused.
“The irony is that people usually take these photos because they love animals,” Chiara Vitali, of World Animal Protection, told The Independent last year. “But behind that selfie there’s often a lot of abuse. If you’re having a picture taken with a tiger cub, chances are that it’s been dragged out like a prop then taken back to its cage at night when tigers should be allowed to roam. To get that picture of a lifetime, it might have taken a lifetime of animal cruelty.”
[H/T CBS DFW]