Emergency as polar bears invade Russian town

Frederick Owens
February 14, 2019

The appended video shows the bears at the dump and in town.

The video was filmed on January 21 but emerged online recently after news about a "polar bear evasion" grabbed headlines in Russian Federation.

It said the emergency situation was caused by "mass invasion" of polar bears in human settlements.

The local administration declared a state of emergency on Saturday, warning that the bears were behaving aggressively and that people were afraid to leave their homes.

Novaya Zemlya, located off Russia's northeastern arctic coast, has been swarmed by dozens of polar bears since December.

Experts are reportedly being brought in to try to deal with the problem - though we all know the problem is much bigger than just these bears.

Local administrator Zhigansha Musin was quoted by Russia's state news agency as saying, "I have been in Novaya Zemlya since 1983, but there have never been so many polar bears in the vicinity".

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Teachers from kindergartens and schools submitted numerous oral and written complaints asking local government bodies to ensure the safety of the area.

Bears are constantly inside a military garrison and "literally chase people" as well as going into the entrances of blocks of flats, another official said.

"We've seen definite trends in certain parts of the Arctic where polar bears are congregating we have not seen before", Elizabeth Kruger of the World Wildlife Foundation told NBC News. Officials have said that about six to ten bears are always seen roaming around in the territory.

A remote area in Russian Federation known as Novaya Zemlya is being overrun by polar bears, driven away from their previous habitats by climate change. Instead, a task force will be sent to the archipelago to "assess the situation and take measures to prevent the polar bears from attacking people", the press release said.

Russia's Federal Service for Supervision of Nature Management has refused to issue licenses to shoot the most aggressive of the lot. Kochnev says that getting rids of trash in the settlements on Novaya Zemlya will be key.

Fifty-two hungry polar bears have occupied Guba, a work settlement in a remote Russian Arctic archipelago.

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