‘Briljante’ scientist in trouble to ‘boil bear urine’

An American woman who allegedly caused a wildfire requiring thousands of people to be evacuated says she wanted to cook urine from a bear.

Alexandra Souverneva (30) threatens to get a whopping 9 years in prison for causing a wildfire that has already destroyed 41 homes and endangering thousands of other places in Northern California. She denies.


Souverneva wanted to go to Canada on foot. She was thirsty. At some point she passed a pool with what looked like bear urine. She wanted to cook it to drink it, says Souverneva.

That โ€œunusual and unsavoryโ€ explanation, as the local FOX 10 Phoenix describes it, can be read back in court documents.

The woman soon noticed that it was โ€œtoo wet to make fireโ€, so it is read, and so she left the bear urine unused and continued her away. Later she ended up in a wildfire. That‘s where she called the fire department. She found her in bad condition in the woods. She was dehydrated and needed medical attention.

Green substance

Souverneva turned out to carry a lighter, and also had โ€œa green, leafy substance that she admitted to smoking that day,โ€ said Fire Chief Matt Alexander.

The story captures the imagination for American media, also because of the background of the woman in question. According to USA Today, Souverneva graduated from the elite California Institute of Technology, speaks multiple languages, worked at a biotech company and did PhD research. She is also said to have worked at Gilead Sciences, one of the largest pharmaceuticals in the world.

She later became a โ€œyoga teacherโ€ and โ€œshaman.โ€

According to a former yoga teacher, Souverneva was โ€œbrilliantโ€ with a prosperous career until she left โ€œthe big money-consuming companiesโ€ behind her and gave the โ€œidealistic childโ€ more space in her. โ€œShe was interested in nature conservation and forests. She would be the last one I’d expect to get in trouble,โ€ said Steve Farmer of Avalon Yoga International to NBC News.

The woman is suspected of arson, in the meantime in other wildfires.