Taxi driver mauled to death while taking selfie with a bear in India

Horrific moment a taxi driver is mauled to death by a bear after trying to take a selfie with it in India

  • Prabhu Bhatara, a taxi driver from India, spotted a wounded bear near the road
  • Despite having passengers in the back he hopped out to take a selfie with it 
  • The animal dragged him to the ground before mauling him to death 
  • Video shows people trying to rescue Mr Bhatara from the bear, but to no avail

A taxi driver has been mauled to death by a bear after he stopped to take a selfie with the animal in India.

Prabhu Bhatara was driving guests home from a wedding in the eastern province of Odisha on Wednesday when he spotted the bear by the roadside. 

With his passengers waiting in the back of the car, Bhatara went to try and take a picture with the animal, which was wounded.

Prabhu Bhatara, a taxi driver from Odisha province, in eastern India, was trying to take a selfie with an injured bear when he slipped and was dragged to the floor by the animal

Shocked onlookers attempted to scare the bear away by hitting it and throwing objects at it, but that only seemed to enrage it

Mr Bhatara had been taking two guests home from a wedding when he stopped for the picture

But the bear managed to grab him and pull him to the ground, where he was mauled to death, the Odisha Sun-Times reports.

The newspaper said the bear was attempting to drink from a pond when Mr Bhatara approached it, despite warnings from those around him.

While taking the picture he slipped, the Sun-Times says, before being grabbed. 

Video taken by shocked onlookers shows one person trying to save Mr Bhatara from the animal, but to no avail.

They can be seen inching down a slope to where the animal is sitting with Mr Bhatara at its feet and trying to hit it with a stick.

At another point someone seems to throw something at the bear. 

That only enrages the bear further, and as Mr Bhatara tries to climb to his feet the predator takes several powerful swipes at his head and neck.

Forestry officials were called but by the time they arrived he was already dead.

The bear had to be tranquilised in order for Mr Bhatara’s body to be retrieved. It was unclear what happened to the animal after that. 

It is not clear exactly what species the bear belongs to from the footage, though of India’s three indigenous bears – the Himalayan Black Bear, the brown bear and the sloth bear – only sloth bears are known to inhabit the area. 

Mr Bhatara can be seen trying to escape from the bear, believed to be a sloth bear, but it delivers several powerful blows to his head and neck

Mr Bhatara eventually died from his injuries and forest officials had to tranquilise the bear in order to retrieve his body

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