kheta
Kheta in Siberia.Google Maps

A six-year-old boy was mauled to death in front of his twin sister by a brown bear in a remote Siberian village, say reports from Russia.

Russian media reported that the child was attacked by a huge bear in the village of Kheta, on the Taimyr peninsula, in Siberia's Krasnoyarsk region.

The incident happened on Saturday (23 September) while unsuspecting children were playing on a helicopter pad when the bear suddenly approached them, according to RIA Novosti.

The bear grabbed the child in front of other terrified youngsters. Reports suggest the animal then dragged the terrified boy into nearby bushes with his sister escaping to raise the alarm.

Despite villagers arriving on the scene shortly after the attack they could not save his life and a group of locals then shot and killed the bear several hours later.

According to the Siberian Times, Olga Degid, Russian Investigative Committee representative, said: "Children were playing outside when a brown bear walked towards them, grabbed a six year old boy and killed him."

The report stated that the Russian Investigative Committee, equivalent of the FBI in the United States, will now carry out an investigation into the tragedy.

At this time of year brown bears in the freezing north of the country are preparing to hibernate and the animals have been seen encroaching on villages and towns in order to put on weight for the winter.

Earlier this month more than 30 hungry bears entered inhabited areas in Russia's Primorsky region, located between China, North Korea and the Sea of Japan.

Local authorities were forced into shooting at least two of the bears dead in Luchegorsk, a town of 21,000 on the river Kontrovod, near the Chinese border, which was particularly affected by the influx.

And in 2015 a Russian woman was left fighting for her life after being attacked by a brown bear which mauled her before burying her alive.

Scientists believe that postal worker Natalya Pasternak, 57, was buried so that the bear could return later to snack on her.