Russian archipelago declares emergency after mass ‘invasion’ of polar bears

Russian archipelago declares emergency after mass ‘invasion’ of polar bears

Russian archipelago declares emergency after mass ‘invasion’ of polar bears

In what is being called a outcome of climate change, more than 50 polar bears have invaded a Russian settlement in the Arctic, forcing terrified residents to stay in their homes, according to news reports.

Authorities there have declared a state of emergency because so many polar bears have been seen close to where humans live. Instead they've offered to send a commission to investigate the situation but have not ruled out a cull.

Since polar bears are endangered in Russian Federation, locals are forbidden from shooting them.

The US Geological Survey warned in 2007 that two-thirds of the global population of polar bears could be wiped out by 2050 because of thinning sea ice.

"People are scared. They are frightened to leave homes, and their daily routines are broken", Minayev said.

The Novaya Zemlya archipelago in the Arctic Ocean has seen more than fifty polar bears come into settlements searching for food since December a year ago. "Parents are unwilling to let their children go to school or nursery". The allure of edible waste in Belushya Guba's garbage bins and dump sites likely stopped the bears from migrating farther north, the researchers said.

Warning of the "mass invasion of polar bears in residential areas", local officials vowed action in response to "numerous oral and written complaints demanding to ensure safety in the settlement".

Bears are constantly inside a military garrison and "literally chase people" he said as well as going into the entrances of apartment buildings. But the hunting is barred on the Russian island chain of Novaya Zemlya, which includes Belushya Guba, a restricted military zone with several small settlements adjacent to bases but no native inhabitants. An Instagram user uploaded photos and a video of the hungry bears.

Local officials complained that measures to scare off polar bears such as vehicle and dog patrols have not been effective as polar bears feel secure and no longer react.

The Russian agency tasked with protecting natural resources denied a request by local officials to shoot the bears.

A team of specialists is being flown into Novaya Zemlya, an archipelago with a population of less than 3,000 people, to assist in removing the bears, which have been gathering in populated areas in increasingly large numbers since December, according to local authorities.

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