News ID: 123070
Published: 0614 GMT July 22, 2015

Police searching for at-large bears in Iran’s flood-hit north

Police searching for at-large bears in Iran’s flood-hit north

Police has launched a citywide search for animals that escaped from a circus following floods in northern Iran, which killed more than a dozen people.

A local police chief said Wednesday that a search operation has been launched to corner the two bears after citizens spotted them along a river on the outskirts of the city of Karaj, around 30 kilometers north of the Iranian capital Tehran.

Colonel Haghighi said extensive efforts by the police forces and rangers to capture the two bears have so far been unsuccessful.

A giant bear and its cub reportedly escaped a private circus after freak floods hit Karaj and some other northern Iranian cities on Sunday.

At least 16 people have been confirmed killed during the floods which ravaged parts of Karaj and inflicted losses on some properties and installations in some surrounding villages.

Media reports say the wild beasts may be hiding in a warehouse around the river.

The local firefighting department is also contributing to the operation with an official saying that three units with eight firefighters are continuing the search for the bears in woods and mountains north of Karaj.

There is no clear report on how many animals may have escaped their enclosures in recent floods. The manager of the circus, however, had denied having any bears, saying those were just rumors circulated by animal rights activists who do not like such shows in the city.

No emergency warning has been issued for people to stay indoors in Karaj as officials say the possibility of the bears roaming in the metropolitan area is too low.

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