THE mystery surrounding a man who it was believed had survived a month trapped in a bear’s den has deepened amid claims he was in a hospital in Kazakhstan all along.

The man, known only as Alexander, was alleged to have been found by hunting dogs with a broken spine in a cave in the remote Russian region of Tuva.

NINTCHDBPICT000500690113 e1561537939837 - Russian ‘bear attack’ mystery deepens over claim ‘victim’ was actually in hospital in Kazakhstan and never mauled by beast
East2west News

The man, known only as Alexander, was reported to have been found in a cave and covered in wounds[/caption]

NINTCHDBPICT000500690108 e1561539032686 - Russian ‘bear attack’ mystery deepens over claim ‘victim’ was actually in hospital in Kazakhstan and never mauled by beast
East2west News

It was thought he had been dragged to the cave by a bear and remained trapped for a month[/caption]

He was reported to have claimed that the bear had attacked him and dragged him to the cave.

Pictures and footage of the man showed him looking thin as well as covered in blood, cuts, and sores.

He was thought to have been rushed to hospital and to be receiving urgent medical treatment.

Moscow-based news agency EADaily, which was behind the original story, offered a cash reward for anyone who could identify the man.

But each hospital in the region has now denied ever having treated the man.

At the same time, checks by independent researchers have found that the original footage showing the skeletal man most likely originated not in Russia but neighbouring Kazakhstan.

A language used by female voices is in fact not Tuvan, as originally assumed, but Kazakh, while a group that works to find lost people in Kazakhstan has now claimed the video shows a man recently admitted to a hospital in the country.

The group, called zello.poisk, investigated whether the man could be a missing male already known to be missing.

He wasn’t, but they were able to track him down to a hospital in the Kazakh city of Aktobe.

In a posting they said: “We checked the hospitals (in Aktobe) and asked them to help us.

“In the end we discovered that this man (in the ‘bear den’ case) is from our city.

“He is being treated in one of the hospitals and is getting better.

“He is ill. But the doctors said that they will cure him.”

“Of course, how he turned out to be in such state we will never know….”

The distance between Kyzyl, the regional capital of Tuva, and Aktobe is around 1,600 miles.

Tuva is a favourite holiday destination for Russian president Vladimir Putin, who has previously been photographed fishing there.

The temperature in Tuva at present 15C, but during winter dips to an average of -32C.

A hospital source in Aktobe indicated today that the bearded man in the video is a patient under treatment, MailOnline reported.

However, no formal statement confirm as much has been issued by the hospital tonight.

Dr Louise Gentle, senior lecturer in wildlife conservation at Nottingham Trent University, told Sun Online that a bear attacking, and dragging, a human into its den is a “vary rare thing to happen”.

The EADaily news agency, which first reported the story, insists its sourcing is accurate.

In a new story on the case today, it said: “The fact remains that a certain man named Alexander is in the most difficult condition in one of the hospitals.

“EADaily appeals to all readers who can shed light on this event.”

NINTCHDBPICT000500690110 - Russian ‘bear attack’ mystery deepens over claim ‘victim’ was actually in hospital in Kazakhstan and never mauled by beast
Rey Gore/The Siberian Times

Alexander reportedly told how he drank his own urine while held captive in the beast’s den in Russia[/caption]

NINTCHDBPICT000500689953 - Russian ‘bear attack’ mystery deepens over claim ‘victim’ was actually in hospital in Kazakhstan and never mauled by beast
Rey Gore/The Siberian Times

Alexander was severely wounded, Russian media claim[/caption]

NINTCHDBPICT000500690107 - Russian ‘bear attack’ mystery deepens over claim ‘victim’ was actually in hospital in Kazakhstan and never mauled by beast
Rey Gore/The Siberian Times

Images posted in Russia purportedly show his horrific injuries from the bear attack[/caption]

NINTCHDBPICT000500690112 - Russian ‘bear attack’ mystery deepens over claim ‘victim’ was actually in hospital in Kazakhstan and never mauled by beast
park.tuvapro.ru/The Siberian Times

Hunting dogs are said to have found him in Russia’s remote Tuva region, pictured[/caption]


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