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Lost woman in forests of Finnish Lapland bitten by police dog searching for her

Several news outlets, including Yle, reported this week about the police rescue of a 60- year-old woman who lost her way in the forests of Lapland while mushroom hunting over the weekend. On Tuesday, however, it was revealed that a police dog searching for the woman bit and severely injured her when she was found. She is still being treated for her injuries.

Sienimetsästä voi löytyä runsaasti saalista.
File photo of mushroom-collecting basket. Image: YLE / Minna Keinänen

A woman in her early 60s was reported missing on Friday afternoon after she didn't return home from a mushroom picking excursion in the forests of Simo, in Finnish Lapland, about 50 km east of the Swedish border.

The woman didn't answer her phone as police tried to contact her, but officials tracked her cell phone's signal in order to pinpoint her location, they said on Monday.

Local authorities say that a police dog was used in the search effort, which began at about 8 pm, and that they had managed to find the woman in the dark forest.

Police also initially said the woman was taken for treatment and a checkup at the Länsi-Pohja Central Hospital in Kemi.

Missing muzzle

However, local police issued a new report about the incident on Tuesday, saying that the police dog had barked upon discovering her, alerting officers that the target had been found, as police dogs are trained to do, and then bitten her.

Police said the dog had been wearing a muzzle but for some reason it had fallen off when the woman was found.

The woman is being treated in Oulu with serious injuries, according to police.

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