A camper from Moscow was reportedly mauled, torn apart, and eaten alive by a hungry bear in a Russian national park in front of his three companions, according to local authorities.

The horrifying incident reportedly happened in the Yergaki Nature Park, in the Krasnoyarsk region of Siberia. The victim has been identified as 42-year-old tourist Yevgeny Starkov. Starkov was with a group of campers who were starting to pack away their tents when the bear suddenly pounced on him and mauled him to death, the Daily Mail reported.

Anton Shelkunov, 42, one of the victim's three fellow companions in the camp, said that the bear was no more than seven meters away from them when it pounced.

"I was collecting my backpack, turned my head to the left, and on the other side, between two stones, the head of a bear protruded," he recalled. "It had a big head with dripping saliva. I shouted 'Bear!'"

“The bear roared and ran at us,” Shelkunov narrated the attack.

Shelkunov and their two other companions, Yevgeny Dobrorodny, 33, and Pavel Zhemchugov, 32, reportedly fled the camping spot and managed to escape from the bear's attack. However, Starkov, from Moscow, was unfortunately caught and was swiftly gnawed to death by the drooling beast, the Daily Star reported.

Shelkunov and the other two companions continued to run for their lives and climbed "up rocks, about 50 meters high" when the bear turned its attention towards them and "ran after them on all four paws."

"We climbed high enough, stood there for about 15 minutes and looked at everything that was happening, and thought about what to do," Shelkunov said. He added that when they looked down, they saw their tents, and the bear standing next to Starkov's body, feeding on his corpse.

The trio then reportedly walked barefoot for seven hours to safety, to raise the alarm for their dead companion, the Sun reported.

“An accident happened with the bear, with a deadly outcome,” Igor Gryazin, the park's director confirmed. The park has been reportedly closed to most visitors following the tragedy.

"The tourists themselves reported the attack," Yulia Arbuzova, Russian Investigative Committee spokesperson said.

Starkov's body has not been recovered yet. A helicopter has been sent to scour the park and its premises for the victim's remains. Meanwhile, investigators have not been able to attend to the crime scene due to bad weather and heavy rain at the park.

Wildlife supervisor Sergey Gushchin reportedly said that the victim's hike was in a hard-to-reach area of the Nine Lakes of the Aradansky ridge. He added that the bear may have been attracted to the camp because of the campers' food.

A Russian camper was reportedly mauled, torn apart, and eaten by a hungry bear in a Russian National Park in front of his three companions. This is a representational image. Pixabay

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