Monday, 5 November 2007

Woman killed by bear at Military Police HQ in Yerevan

By Arpi Harutyunyan
ArmeniaNow 2 November 2007

According to unofficial reports, a woman has been killed by a bear that had been kept on the grounds of the Republic of Armenia Military Police department in Yerevan. Little is known of the circumstances, except that the bear belonged to the head of the Military Police, Vladimir Gasparyan.

The family refuses to give the alleged victim’s surname; they only say that a woman named Jasmine, 59 [according to A1+ and YerkirMedia - 70 yrs old], who was a cleaning lady at the department, was killed on Thursday. The sources say the bear escaped its cage while attendants entered to feed it. It is said that the woman was taken to hospital where she died of wounds. The family says it was called to identify the body and saw that she had suffered an attack.

It is unclear why the headquarters was keeping a bear. It is believed that the compound is also home to a tiger. Armenian brown bears are on the endangered species list. It is believed that the bear was destroyed.

The family refuses to give further information. The Military Police refused to answer ArmeniaNow’s question concerning the alleged event.

This case did not grab much public attention so far but it should.

Private zoo-s are not uncommon in Armenia for some time now. Reporter_am notes that for rich Armenians having a lion or tiger, or at least a bear, is a sort of symbol of power and masculinity. But why on earth Military Police chief keeps his bear (and tiger?) within the premises of its Yerevan HQ, which is not a private enterprise but a state office? How legal is it? Isn't being a head of Military Police not enough a symbol of macho masculinity? Who will be responsible for the death of that innocent woman?

*Photo by


artmika said...

According to A1+ and YerkirMedia reports,last year a bear killed a serviceman in similar circumstances. Another soldier committed suicide when asked to feed a bear. (?!!)

Anonymous said...

that is ridiculous, these people should not be keeping wild animals like that anyway - it's not the bear's fault after all. :(


artmika said...

Tell me about it... and no one will be held responsible for this because simply no one did complain (there is silence from relatives' side of the victim, for... yeah... obvious reasons)