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INTO THE BEAR PIT; Horror as madman goes for 'picnic' at zoo.

Byline: ALLAN HALL

A CRAZED intruder dangles from the jaws of a bear after leaping into its zoo enclosure for a "picnic".

The demented visitor was badly mauled before being rescued by keepers.

But it was Finn, the four-year-old European brown bear, who ended up fighting for life after being shot by police using a dum-dum bullet - the kind that shatters on impact.

They opened fire to save the madman, who is recovering in hospital from severe head and leg wounds.

Finn was not so lucky. He was critically ill last night, but vets are unable to operate because of the number of splinters caused by the bullet.

The bear was simply defending his territory at Bern Park in Switzerland when he pounced on the man who had scaled a wall and leapt 20ft into the recently opened enclosure.

He picked up the 25-year-old interloper as if he were a rag doll and carted him in his teeth to the far side of the pen he shares his 10-year-old sister Bjoerk.

Cops had no option. They shot Finn to save the man's life.

The sickening moments, captured by a horrified visitor on Sunday, echo a similar incident at Berlin Zoo in April.

On that occasion disturbed Mandy Knobloch, 32, was savaged after jumping in to swim with the polar bears.

She was pulled clear before keepers had to use their weapons.

Last night police and zoo officials said they had been inundated with messages of sympathy - for Finn the bear.

CAPTION(S):

SHOT Finn lies critically wounded yesterday DEADLY Cop takes aim, left, as rescuers arrive at enclosure ATTACK The brown bear pounces after man leaps into pen
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Nov 25, 2009
Words:278
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