52 polar bears invade Russian town, enter residential buildings and attack locals

52 polar bears invade Russian town, enter residential buildings and attack locals

52 polar bears invade Russian town, enter residential buildings and attack locals

The worrying migration of bears began late past year when the animals started to flock to the settlements of Novaya Zemlya en masse, seeking food at local dumps and harassing residents and their pets. "People are scared; they are afraid to leave their homes, daily routines are disrupted, and parents worry about sending their children to school".

"Parents are wary of letting children to go to schools and kindergartens".

Russian Federation classes polar bears as an endangered species and shooting them is prohibited by law.

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

However the bears are no longer frightened of police patrols and signals so drastic measures are needed to control them. There are reports that the bears are facing a cull, despite polar bears being listed as a threatened species - the worldwide population is estimated at 26,000.


The archipelago's main settlement of Belushya Guba has reported a total of 52 bears and between six and 10 on its territory at most times.

Local administrator Alexander Minayev said bears had attacked people and entered buildings.

Scenes caught on video of polar bears that had come ashore, grunting and strolling through the 2,000-person settlement, suggested a dramatic symbol of climate change. The mammals were undeterred, continuing to pose a "threat to the life and health" of residents, officials said. "They have literally been chasing people", Zhigansha Musin, the head of the local administration, told Guardian.

Schools and villages have filed statements saying they are anxious about security.

The polar bears are battling adverse conditions of their own, driven by changing conditions in the Arctic, which is warming more than twice as fast as the rest of the planet, according to a 2013 study in the journal Nature. "They became insolent. This is scary. This is scary. When they walk under your window at night, it is creepy", the resident added. Kindergartens have now installed additional fences around the buildings and employees of various offices and military personnel are now ferried to their workplaces and brought back home on specially arranged vehicles. It could be that there's an extraordinary amount of trash and food and other things attracting a big group of polar bears to its shore.

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