A heartbreaking picture shows two tiny wild bear cubs that froze to death after their angry mother was "taunted by lumberjacks who wounded her with a chainsaw".
Police in eastern Russia are probing the incident that saw “drunk” woodcutters wake a hibernating Himalayan bear and her cubs.
The adult bear lunged at the loggers who attacked and wounded the beast with a chainsaw, say reports.
The bleeding mother then fled the scene abandoning her den and two cubs.
Hunters patrolling the forest in the Anuchinsky district of the Russian Far East found the frozen corpses of the two helpless cubs.
“The guys got drunk after cutting logs and went for a walk about the woods,” a source told VladNews.
“They came across a den and thought it would be a great idea to wake up the bear.
“They didn’t succeed at first, but then the mother bear woke up, got out and lashed aggressively at them."
This was her natural reaction top protect her babies.
“The men defended themselves with a chainsaw, wounding the bear which fled.”
Dmitry Pankratov from the regional department for Wildlife Control, Protection and Regulation that the mother bear survived the encounter.
"We confirm that these two cubs were abandoned by their mother who got scared by the woodcutters.
"The mother bear is alive, but she never came back to the den", he said.
Dmitry Pankratov, from the regional wildlife control department, said: “We confirm that these two cubs were abandoned by their mother who got scared by the woodcutters.
“The mother bear is alive, but she never came back to the den.”
A police investigation is underway into the lumberjacks’ behaviour, according to the Siberian Times .
It comes after a bloodthirsty hunter posted "barbaric" photos of himself cutting the tail off an elephant he killed.
Broc Simoneau shared pictures of himself and his dad Greg on Facebook , standing next to a dead elephant during a hunt in Africa.
He branded elephant hunting "in a class (of) its own".
But the images have provoked a backlash, with critics saying the practice has no place in the 21st century.
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