Russian Arctic archipelago sounds alarm over aggressive polar bears

February 10, 2019
Polar bears are affected by global warming with melting Arctic ice forcing them to spend more time on land where they compete for food

A Russian Arctic archipelago on Saturday declared an emergency situation over an "invasion" of dozens of aggressive polar bears that have entered homes and public buildings.

Russia's northeastern Novaya Zemlya archipelago, which has a population of around 3,000 people, has appealed for help to tackle "a mass invasion of polar bears into inhabited areas," regional authorities said in a statement.

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.

Polar bears are affected by global warming with melting Arctic ice forcing them to spend more time on land where they compete for food.

They are recognised as an in Russia and hunting them is banned.

Russia has and air defence troops based on Novaya Zemlya.

Since December, 52 polar bears have regularly visited the archipelago's main settlement, Belushya Guba, with some displaying "aggressive behaviour," local official Alexander Minayev said in a report to regional authorities.

This included "attacks on people and entering residential homes and ," said Minayev, the deputy chief of the local administration.

"There are constantly 6 to 10 bears inside the settlement," he said.

"People are scared, they are afraid to leave their homes... parents are frightened to let their children go to schools and kindergartens."

The head of the local administration Zhigansha Musin said that the numbers of polar bears were unprecedented.

"I've been on Novaya Zemlya since 1983 and there's never been such a mass invasion of polar bears," he told regional officials.

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

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

A working group of regional and is set to visit the archipelago to assess the situation and the measures taken so far.

The Arkhangelsk regional authorities, which oversee Novaya Zemlya, said that if all else failed "shooting the animals could be the only possible forced measure."

In January, a defence ministry official said that hundreds of disused military buildings had been demolished on Novaya Zemlya because were settling inside them.

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RealityCheck
2.3 / 5 (3) Feb 10, 2019
@snoosebaum.

I long ago pointed out (to the trolls who spammed their troll-factory's 'meme of the day': "The polar bears will be fine") how the warming arctic was bad for polar bears *and* the land bears *and" the humans on land, who would be 'invaded' by polar bears no longer able to hunt enough of their usual prey on large sea-ice floes.

Now here (above news article) is more confirmation that what I tried to tell you was yet another 'downside' from AGW effects NOW, let alone all the rest as warming increases.

Time to resign your 'troll factory' job and get an honest job, mate. Better hurry, @snoose. Do it now and beat the resigning-trolls rush! :)

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