An 11-year-old Russian boy was mauled to death by two brown bears at a zoo when he tried to get a photo-op with them, according to a report.
The boy, who was only identified as Nikita, got close to the beasts to impress two girls at the small zoo in the Dagomys district of Sochi, the Daily Mail reported.
He was able to enter an unlocked enclosure that housed a separate cage for the ferocious animals, the report said.
“He opened the gate, went in, wanting to take a picture,” one resident told the outlet. “He slapped the bears’ paws to show how cool he was.”
But the animals reportedly dragged the boy into a hole that had been dug under a cage inside the enclosure.
“They were tossing him around like a ball,” the resident said. “He was all broken.”
The girls screamed for help and a staffer shot the beasts dead — but it was too late to save the boy, the outlet reported.
“It is so scary what has happened,” his great-aunt Evgenia Mikhailova, 57, told a local outlet, according to the Daily Mail.
An investigation has been opened into the owners of the zoo that housed the two bears to determine whether negligence was involved in his death, the outlet reported.
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