An elderly lady almost drowned after seeking refuge in a water hole for two days trying to escape a bear attack.

Anna Zemlyakova, 83, was picking wild mushrooms in a forest when she was confronted by the grizzly beast and sought shelter in a flooded stream.

Her feet became lodged in the clay beneath and she was unable to get out as the bear continued to circle around her as prey.

She "roared like a bear" to ward off the beast but it continued to torment her for hours in the forest where wild Serbian tigers are also known to roam, rescuers in the Khabarovsk region of eastern Russia said.

Volunteers and local villagers joined the missing person search to find the grandmother and discovered the bear's lair less than a mile from Sita village.

They returned back with guns and dogs to scare the beast away, and initially thought he had killed the grandmother.

Volunteer Olesya Kutepova heard a bear-like roar and thought the beast had attacked rescuers – but realised it was Anna making noises to try and scare the bear away.

“But it wasn’t a bear, it was granny Anna,” Ms Kutepova said.

“She was standing up to her chin in water and roaring, scaring away the bear.”

Rescuers arrived and managed to pull the woman free, as the exhausted grandmother muttered "bear, bear".

She was placed on a makeshift stretcher and rushed to hospital.

Anna, who is a retired railworker, has lived in the village all her life but claims there is a rise in the number of bear sightings within village grounds as wildfires and floods continue to rise.

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