WARNING - GRAPHIC IMAGES: A boxer is in a “grave” condition in hospital after fighting off and knifing to death a brown bear which killed his friend.
Ilya Medvedev, 23, was on a fishing trip on the Irtysh River in Russia when he and fellow angler Vyacheslav ‘Slava’ Dudnik, 48, were suddenly attacked.
The elder man was quickly mauled to death by the raging beast, which then attacked the professional boxer.
Another fisherman Denis Chebotar, 41, was securing their small boat on the river banks when he heard screams and desperate shouts of — “A bear!”
He rushed into the forest to help his friends and heard shots.
“I heard screams. They shouted: ‘A bear!’
“And that's all... then shots.
“When I reached the spot, I saw Slava dead,” he said.
The boxer, who has taken part in the Russian championships and other national competitions, had tried to shoot the beast but it had knocked the gun out of his hands, so he fought with a knife.
“Ilya was finishing the bear off with a knife,” Mr Chebotar said.
“He had time to shoot twice, then obviously retreated, recharged, and made two more shots.”
Yet the fierce bear was still attacking despite its gunshot wounds.
“The fifth cartridge was not completely into the chamber. He had no time…” Mr Chebotar said.
The bear knocked the gun away and “Ilya was stabbing it with a knife...”, he added.
Finally, the boxer killed the bear but suffered grievous wounds.
Mr Chebotar dragged the “barely alive” Ilya to the boat and delivered him to the nearest hospital.
He is now in intensive care in a “grave condition” with lacerated injuries to the head and body, say reports from Uvatsky district, in Tyumen region.
Criminal investigators have begun a probe into the bear attack, say reports.
In 2019, Medvedev won a gold medal in the 64 kg weight category at the Armed Forces Boxing Championships.
Do you have a story tip? Email: email@example.com.