Bear in Thai temple mauls tourist

A TOURIST who taunted a bear in an enclosure at a temple in Phetchabun province, Thailand, was seriously injured after he was attacked by the animal.

Naiphum Promratee, 36, was dragged into the enclosure by the bear after he had infuriated it by dangling food in its jaw. The bear stood on its hind legs and dragged him down.

The animal knocked Naiphum unconscious and started mauling him. His friends tried in vain to chase the bear away with a pole and water.

It dragged the victim into its cage. One of his friends ran into the cage and battered the animal with a pole while others pulled him to safety when the bear backed off.

Bpae Permpoonsap, 60, from the Khon Khao Koo Pai rescue service, said: “We received a report today of a bear attack at 11.10am. The bear was among other creatures being raised by monks at the temple. The man had gone to the temple with four or five friends and he was toying with the bear.

“It pulled him in and attacked him. We arrived and found the man injured seriously. He had been with his friends and wanted to feed the animals. He was lucky to survive and he is in hospital now and able to talk.”