Sacrilegious oil-swilling bears terrorize villagers

IOANNINA (AFP) – The inhabitants of a remote Epirus village are living in fear after a posse of brown bears vandalized their graveyard, a local official told Agence France-Presse. A group of the bears ransacked the cemetery of Makrino in the Zagori area, damaging gravestones and drinking oil from the lamps adorning tombs. «This is the second time in two months that the bears have come to our village,» local councilor Sotiris Spyradakis told AFP. «This time nothing was left undisturbed.» Now the villagers fear that the bears, emboldened by their recent adventures, could turn their attention to the living. The brown bear, or Ursus arctos, rarely attacks humans, with fruit, berries and roots accounting for around 75 percent of its diet. It is the other 25 percent the locals are increasingly worried about, according to Spyradakis. «Now the residents fear for their lives,» he said.

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