State of Emergency Declared in Russian Islands over Invasion of Polar Bears

Clay Curtis
February 11, 2019

A remote Russian Arctic archipelago has declared a state of emergency over an "invasion" by more than 50 polar bears, confining numerous 3,000 inhabitants to their homes.

On Feb. 9, the decision to declare an emergency was reached after a meeting of the commission tasked to prevent emergencies and ensure fire safety.

Russian authorities have so far refused permission to shoot the bears but are sending a commission to investigate the situation and have not ruled out a cull.

Teachers have urged the authorities to consider security measures to protect schoolkids, while others have voiced their concerns over attacks if people are unable to scare the bears off. They are frightened to leave homes and their daily routines are broken.

The bears are displaying "aggressive behaviour", Minayev wrote, including "attacks on people and entering residential homes and public buildings".

Although most of the wild animals were no longer wandering near the settlements, around six to ten polar bears still remained in the area.

"I have been on Novaya Zemlya since 1983, but never before has there been such a massive invasion of polar bears", according to local administration head Zhigansha Musin.

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He also added that the bears are "literally chasing people and even entering the entrances of residential buildings", which sounds absolutely bloody terrifying.

Former resident Anastasia Bondarenko said the bears are no longer scared of man and have become "insolent". Dozens of polar bears gathered near human settlements from December 2018 until February 2019.

"They told us there was a female polar bear with a cub, which spent its evenings under the station's windows", Shevchenko said, according to the BBC.

"Compared to previous years, they come ashore in the southern part of the archipelago, where the ice is changing".

Belushya Guba is the main settlement on a remote archipelago to the north of the Russian mainland. They could have gone past but for the food. "But as there are bins with edible waste, they stop to flock".

For protection against the animals were placed in the vicinity of kindergartens, additional fencing, and personnel on Novaya Zemlya stationed Russian air force and air defense troops with special vehicles to work.

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