THE- SUN.COM February 12, 2021 – Reporters and police sprint for safety as a group of caged bears go on the attack moments after being released into the wild.
The chaotic scene was captured in these dramatic pictures of a wildlife conservation project in northern Iraq yesterday.
Six Syrian brown bears – some said to have been rescued from people’s homes – were taken from towns in the south to their new home in the Gara mountains.
Steel cages were lined up on a wall, surrounded by a large crowd of cameramen, armed security guards and onlookers.
Moments after the cages were opened, the panicking bears charged towards the crowd.
Terrified spectators were pictured running to escape the beasts as the release ceremony descended into chaos.
It is not clear yet if anyone was injured.
The bears eventually wandered off into the snowy landscape near Duhok, in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq close to the border with Turkey.
The American-Kurdish Association released the bears as part of a scheme to save the near-extinct species from vanishing in its natural habitat.
The head of the organisation, Blend Prevkani, told Shafaq News agency: “The bears were brought from areas in southern Iraq.
“Some of them were bought, while the others were given to us by their owners.”
This was the third such release by the organisation over the past few years. [full article photos/videos source]