A man bit the tongue off a bear in a desperate attempt to stop the animal mauling him to death in a Russian forest.
Nikolai Irgit, 29, encountered the bear while hiking in woods in the Tyva Republic, south-central Russia, according to police.
Reports say Mr Irgit was gathering antlers shed by deers in the forest not far from his village of Khut when the attack occurred.
The man was in the forest with two male friends. After starting a bonfire and preparing some food the men went in different directions to search for the antlers.
Examining dense thickets, Mr Irgit encountered a brown bear and started screaming in an effort to scare the animal off.
But the bear attacked and started to bite Mr Irgit’s head and body.
Local police say Mr Irgit sank his teeth into the bear’s tongue in a desperate attempt to drive the animal away.
The man managed to bite off a part of the animal’s tongue and the injured bear ran away leaving Mr Irgit badly mauled, cops said.
Mr Irgit’s friends raced to the scene as soon as they heard the screams and called an ambulance.
The victim was rushed to the nearby city of Kyzyl and admitted to intensive care in a serious condition.
He was diagnosed with numerous lacerations to his face, head, arms and stomach.
Doctors managed to stabilise Mr Irgit’s condition and his life is now not in danger.
After the incident, the men were interviewed by police officers.
The police report said: ‘In the forest Mr Irgit encountered a brown bear and started screaming trying to scare the animal off.
‘But the bear attacked the man and started to bite him.
‘When the bear was biting the victim on his face, Mr Irgit managed to bite a part of the animal’s tongue off.
‘After that the bear ran away.’
Police are going to fine Mr Irgit and his friends for gathering antlers in the Khutinsky forest, which is a local nature reserve.