Danish zookeepers fire rubber bullets to save man from polar bear

Copenhagen (AFP) - Keepers at Copenhagen's zoo fired rubber bullets at a polar bear on Wednesday to save a man who jumped into the animal's enclosure, sustaining light injuries after getting too close.

"He went up to the bear and it examined him by sniffing him and shoving him, and he sustained some superficial injuries," zoo spokesman Jacob Munkholm told AFP.

"It didn't take more than a minute and a half from the alarm going off when he entered the facility until our guards... shot rubber bullets at the bear and it moved away from him," he added.

The man was able to walk on his own when staff entered the enclosure to assist him.

Copenhagen police described the man as "mentally unstable".

A group of schoolchildren who witnessed the incident were offered counselling, as were zoo staff members who were involved, Munkholm said.