Woman 'eaten by bears' in Russia after storming off from friend's forest wedding
A woman who is said to have angrily walked out of a wedding after a row with one of the guests is feared to have been eaten by bears in a nearby forest.
Yana Balobanova, 24, has been missing since July 2, after she apparently ran out of a friend’s wedding in taiga, in the Sverdlovsk region in Russia.
She is thought to have had an argument with one of the guests and walked off into the remote forest.
Yana soon got lost and called emergency services that night and again the next morning but rescuers could not find her.
They tried to use sniffer dogs to track her scent but the dogs became agitated and scared when her smell got mixed up with bears’.
This, along with finding bear footprints, led teams to speculate she had been eaten by the massive animals.
The footprints were that of a mother bear and her cubs, which wildlife inspector Andrei Sakulin said was ‘very dangerous for humans’.
He told Russian outlet E1: ‘It is no longer possible to hope that the woman will be found alive.
‘If a person accidentally finds themselves between a bear and her cubs, the predator can attack immediately and harshly, without growls and warnings.
‘Bears attack with lightning speed, up to 60kph (37mph) – so it is impossible to run away. At this time of year male bears also behave aggressively.’
A video shows rescuers trudging through thick forest calling her name but they are yet to find anything.
Russian media has been riddled with theories about what happened to Yana – who apparently struggled with a drinking problem.
Yana’s dad, Yakov Balobanov, told local media his daughter was raped about a year-and-a-half ago.
The bride of the wedding Yana got lost at, Irina, supposedly filmed the attack.
The outlet confirmed the bride was convicted of unlawful imprisonment while her accomplices were accused of sexual assault at Severouralsk Court.
Although Yakov has admitted ‘it is possible a bear got her’, he suspects foul play was involved.
He called everyone at the wedding ‘criminals’ and said he had previously warned his daughter not to go.
But Irina and her new husband insist Yana never even arrived at their wedding.
Russian authorities have previously said they have no reason to believe Yana has been the victim of a crime.
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