Read us | Listen to us | Watch us | Join Live Events | Turn Off Ads | Live |

Click on your language to translate this article:

Afrikaans Afrikaans Albanian Albanian Amharic Amharic Arabic Arabic Armenian Armenian Azerbaijani Azerbaijani Basque Basque Belarusian Belarusian Bengali Bengali Bosnian Bosnian Bulgarian Bulgarian Cebuano Cebuano Chichewa Chichewa Chinese (Simplified) Chinese (Simplified) Corsican Corsican Croatian Croatian Czech Czech Dutch Dutch English English Esperanto Esperanto Estonian Estonian Filipino Filipino Finnish Finnish French French Frisian Frisian Galician Galician Georgian Georgian German German Greek Greek Gujarati Gujarati Haitian Creole Haitian Creole Hausa Hausa Hawaiian Hawaiian Hebrew Hebrew Hindi Hindi Hmong Hmong Hungarian Hungarian Icelandic Icelandic Igbo Igbo Indonesian Indonesian Italian Italian Japanese Japanese Javanese Javanese Kannada Kannada Kazakh Kazakh Khmer Khmer Korean Korean Kurdish (Kurmanji) Kurdish (Kurmanji) Kyrgyz Kyrgyz Lao Lao Latin Latin Latvian Latvian Lithuanian Lithuanian Luxembourgish Luxembourgish Macedonian Macedonian Malagasy Malagasy Malay Malay Malayalam Malayalam Maltese Maltese Maori Maori Marathi Marathi Mongolian Mongolian Myanmar (Burmese) Myanmar (Burmese) Nepali Nepali Norwegian Norwegian Pashto Pashto Persian Persian Polish Polish Portuguese Portuguese Punjabi Punjabi Romanian Romanian Russian Russian Samoan Samoan Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic Serbian Serbian Sesotho Sesotho Shona Shona Sindhi Sindhi Sinhala Sinhala Slovak Slovak Slovenian Slovenian Somali Somali Spanish Spanish Sudanese Sudanese Swahili Swahili Swedish Swedish Tajik Tajik Tamil Tamil Thai Thai Turkish Turkish Ukrainian Ukrainian Urdu Urdu Uzbek Uzbek Vietnamese Vietnamese Xhosa Xhosa Yiddish Yiddish Zulu Zulu

Russia’s northern region declares state of emergency over polar bear invasion

Russia’s Novaya Zemlya archipelago, located in the Arctic Ocean in the northern Arkhangelsk region, has declared a state of emergency after dozens of polar bears ‘invaded’ human settlements, the Archangelsk governor and regional government said in a press release.

“The decision to declare an emergency situation on the territory of Novaya Zemlya from February 9 was taken at a meeting of the commission tasked to prevent emergencies and ensure fire safety,” says the statement released over the weekend.

“The emergency situation was caused by the mass invasion of polar bears in residential areas,” it said.

According to Alexander Minayev, the deputy head of Novaya Zemlya administration, dozens of polar bears gathered near human settlements from December 2018 until February 2019. At least 52 polar bears were spotted near the settlement of Belushya Guba. There were cases of wild animals’ aggression when they attacked people and entered residential buildings and offices. Between six and ten polar bears are constantly on the territory of the settlement.

“Residents, schools and kindergartens are submitting numerous oral and written complaints demanding to ensure safety in the settlement. The people are scared. They are frightened to leave homes and their daily routines are broken. Parents are afraid to let the children go to school or kindergarten,” says the statement.

Extra fences were installed near the kindergartens to ensure the children’s safety. The military personnel and employees are delivered to workplaces by special vehicles, while the area is patrolled. Nonetheless, the measures yielded no tangible result. The bears had no fear of signals used to scare them off as well as of patrol cars and dogs.

Russian environmental watchdog bans polar bears’ shooting

The Russian environmental watchdog has refused to issue licenses for shooting the most aggressive polar bears.

An expert team will be dispatched to the archipelago to assess and prevent the predators’ attacks on humans. The experts hope that firearms will not be needed to warn off the endangered species. However, provided that those measures do not help solve the situation, a cull will remain the only and forced answer.

Novaya Zemlya head Zhigansha Musin said that the emergency would be effective until the local people’s safety was ensured.

“I have been in Novaya Zemlya since 1983, but there has never been so many polar bears in the vicinity. I recall that over five polar bears are in the [military] garrison chasing people and entering residential buildings. However, if a cull is banned, we will have to embark on a longer and less safe way for local residents,” Musin said.

“A total of 50 polar bears are near the human settlements so we have loads of work ahead,” he concluded.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email