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Justice Will Be Served: Authorities Hunt for Polar Bear Killers

© Sputnik / E. Arbuzov / Go to the mediabankA polar bear. Wrangel Island State Nature Reserve
A polar bear. Wrangel Island State Nature Reserve - Sputnik International
People responsible for killing a polar bear in Russia’s northeast face three years in prison.

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According to media reports, the culprits tricked the bear into eating an explosive charge which detonated inside the creature’s stomach, filming the entire process on camera.

The video was later posted online, sparking outrage across the country.

The incident occurred on Wrangel Island, located in the Arctic Ocean off the Russian Far East coast.

LifeNews TV channel reports that the crime was allegedly committed by a cook working at a construction site there. The cook however claimed that the polar bear accidentally burned himself when trying to eat a flare and fled, and the video released by the alleged perpetrators is in fact a provocation.

"Feeding the bear an explosive charge is an act of unimaginable cruelty," Russian Natural Resource Minister Sergei Donskoi told media. He also said that an official request to investigate the incident has already been filed with the office of the Prosecutor General.

"Polar bears are considered an endangered species in our country, so this killing could be considered an act of poaching," the minister added.

Internet users have also launched a petition on the change.org website, calling the authorities to bring the bear’s killers to justice.

If found guilty of poaching, the suspects are facing up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $14,000 (according to the current exchange rates).

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