Published: Mon, February 11, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Russian town declares state of emergency over polar bear invasion

Russian town declares state of emergency over polar bear invasion

The arctic archipelago New Zealand, located in northeastern Russian Federation and where some 3,000 people live, is alarmed by the "invasion" since December of dozens of aggressive polar bears, explained on Saturday regional authorities.

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

Polar bears went on a rampage in a Russian village.

Attempts to drive them away using patrol cars and dogs have been futile, according to officials.

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

He warned the animals are "literally chasing people and even entering the entrances of residential buildings".

Zhigansha Musin, a local official who's lived in the area since 1983, said he'd never witnessed such a large influx of polar bears.

Ilya Mordvintsev, a lead researcher at the Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Moscow, told TASS that the reason so many polar bears had appeared near human settlement was because of the easy availability of food sources detected during their seasonal migration. Between six and ten roamed through the streets at any one time, frightening residents, officials said over the weekend.

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"They are staying [near the main settlement of Belushya Guba] because there is some alternative food".

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.

Despite the invasion, residents have been cautioned against shooting and will face prosecution if they do, as polar bears are classified as an endangered species in Russia, Daily Mail reports.

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

"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 a statement from the region's government released on Saturday.

Polar pears are being increasingly driven onto land because of the melting of Arctic sea ice, with their numbers rapidly declining.

They say that if other means to scare off the bears fail a cull could be the only answer.

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