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MOSCOW, June 24. /TASS/. Paw prints, excrement and claw marks on the trees prove that brown bears have returned to forests north of Moscow after human impact on the environment forced them to leave, a spokesman for Moscow Region Forestry Committee told TASS on Wednesday.
"So far, nobody has seen the bears because there are just a few of them, possibly several adults. But the traces they leave let our specialists say with certainty that they are somewhere near," Svyatoslav Neklyayev said.
"They may have come to the Moscow region from the north, from the Tver or Yaroslavl regions [bordering on Moscow region]" he said, adding that the main reason behind their comeback was an improved environment and better food resources.
The spokesman said it was unlikely that residents of local settlements or summer cottage homes could come across bears as the traces were found distant from them, deep in the forest.
But if people lost their way and found themselves deep in the forest, he advised they would better abandon any idea of taking a bear selfie and leave the place silently, without attracting attention.
"Even if the animal behaves peacefully, remember that you are in its territory, and everything may change in a jiffy," Neklyayev said.
Moscow region used to be a natural habitat for brown bears, he added. Until the 1970s, bear hunting was allowed but active human interference with nature forced the bears away.