Published: Mon, February 11, 2019
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Russia islands emergency over polar bear 'invasion'

Russia islands emergency over polar bear 'invasion'

An emergency situation has been declared in the remote Novaya Zemlya islands in northern Russian Federation that have been inundated with up to 52 polar bears.

Authorities in Novaya Zemlya have appealed for help to tackle the 52 bears which have been regularly visiting the archipelago's main settlement, Belushya Guba. "Parents are afraid to let the children go to school or kindergarten", says the statement. He lived since 1983 on the island, but a collection of so many bears he had never experienced before. The appearance of polar bears in human settlements of the Novaya Zemlya archipelago, which triggered a state of emergency in the region, has been caused by the seasonal migration of animals and available edible waste in the settlements, Ilya Mordvintsev, a lead researcher at the Severtsev Institute of Ecology and Evolution, told TASS.

Attempts to drive them away using patrol cars and dogs have been futile, according to officials.

'In the village there are constantly from six to ten polar bears.

Authorities in Russia's remote Arctic archipelago of Novaya Zemlya have taken measures to chase away a band of polar bears that had established a reign of terror over locals in recent days. They are staying in that location [near Belushya Guba] because there is some alternative food.

Local administration head Vigansha Musin was reported by the British news outlet as saying that the local military garrison, where air and air defense forces are based, has had over five bears come onto the base.

The experts hope that firearms will not be needed to warn off the endangered species.

With Arctic sea ice diminishing as a result of climate change, polar bears are forced to change their hunting habits and spend more time on land looking for food - which potentially puts them in conflict with humans.

The federal environmental resources agency has refused to issue licences to shoot the most aggressive bears.

The Siberian Times reports that shooting in the air, sounding vehicle horns and erecting fences have all failed to curb the bear invasion and a team of specialists is en route to the archipelago to assesses the situation.

Officials said it is hoped that firearms will not be needed to drive the bears away, but they cautioned that culling of the animals can not be ruled out.

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