Russian islands declare emergency after mass invasion of polar bears
Russian islands declare emergency after mass invasion of polar bears
Polar Bears Invade Russian Town: State of Emergency Declared
14 February, 2019, 03:45
The Russian town of Novaya Zemlya located on the north-eastern Arctic coast has declared an emergency over an "invasion" of dozens of aggressive polar bears that have entered homes and public buildings.
"Residents, schools and kindergartens are submitting numerous oral and written complaints demanding to ensure safety in the settlement", the regional government said in a statement, according to TASS.
Footage from the Novaya Zemlyaarchipelagoshows the animals roaming through building and exploring populated areas.
"Usually they mass on land when there is no ice on the sea", AFP Moscow correspondent Maria Antonova tweeted about the bears.
Instead, the agency has said it will catch the wild animals, put them to sleep and remove them from the settlements.
That's exactly why Belushya Guba is seeing an unprecedented deluge of polar bears.
Such has been the invasion that people living in the town are said to be scared of leaving their homes. They are frightened to leave homes and their daily routines are broken.
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The authorities arranged transportation for the safe passage of children to and from kindergartens and of troops to and from military garrisons, he added. Nonetheless, the measures yielded no tangible result.
Or, far more likely, the polar bears simply don't have anywhere else to go to find the sustenance and safety they need to survive and, so, they've chosen this island. Short of less violent options, the only alternative might be to cull the population, although Russia's main environmental watchdog has so far refused to issue hunting licenses to civilians.
It was reported that a team of experts will be sent to the archipelago to examine the situation and stop the animals from attacking human beings.
Despite the siege, residents have been warned they face prosecution if they shoot the endangered species.
Local administration head Vigansha Musin said: "I've been on Novaya Zemlya since 1963".
In 2016, five Russian scientists were besieged by polar bears for almost two weeks at a remote weather station on Troynoy Island, east of Novaya Zemlya.
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