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A man was mauled to death by a bear after he reportedly tried to take a selfie with the creature.

After stopping to go to the toilet on his way home from a wedding, Prabhu Bhatara is said to have spotted the injured animal in the Nabarangpur district of Odisha in India.

His fellow SUV passengers advised him against trying to take a picture with the creature.

As he sidled up, the bear struck and a struggled ensued. A stray dog also stepped in and bit the bear but its intervention failed to deter the larger animal.

He added: “The bear is being treated for its injuries.”

India had the highest rate of deaths linked to selfies for the two years between March 2014 and September 2016, with 60 per cent of all deaths taking place there, a study claimed last year.

Of 127 reported selfie deaths in that period, 76 occurred in India, a collaborative study by researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and Indraprastha Institute of Information Delhi found.

One 17-year-old girl died when she was swept over a parapet by a large wave while taking a selfie with friends.

Elsewhere, in 2014 a Mexican man died when the gun he was holding while taking pictures went off, wounding him in the head.

Oscar Otero Aguilar, 21, who had reportedly been drinking with friends before the incident, died on the way to hospital.

Last year an American woman was deemed “lucky to be alive” after she fell some 60ft from a bridge in California while taking a selfie.

The unnamed woman suffered fractured bones and a deep wound to her arm, authorities said, having ignored warnings about out-of-bounds areas.

Selfies with bears became something of a trend in 2014 – so much so that the US Forest Service was forced to warn people not to get so close to the animals.

“Visitor centre staff routinely encounter unsafe situations as guests ignore their instructions”, the service said.