Polar bears invade Russian town

Polar bears invade Russian town

The hidden story to this is that this situation will likely become more prevalent in future years as the polar ice caps melt, forcing polar bears and other arctic animals further and further south in order to find places to live. "Parents are afraid to let children go to schools and kindergartens", Musina added. State news agency TASS calls the situation a "mass invasion".

Russian Federation classifies polar bears as an endangered species and shooting them is illegal.

The animals reportedly attacked locals, ransacked garbage dumps and barged into residential buildings, according to a government statement translated from Russian and released this weekend.

Ilya N. Mordvintsev, a professor at the Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution and Russian polar bear expert, told The New York Times it's unclear whether climate change is to blame for the lack of sea ice in the polar bears' normal terrain.

Officials in Belushya Guba, the main town in the archipelago, have reported 52 polar bears in town. The bears had no fear of signals used to scare them off as well as of patrol cars and dogs.

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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. He said sea ice can shift dramatically in the area depending on a variety of factors.

Another local official, Zhigansha Musin, said he has has been on the island since 1983 and never seen such a large influx of the beasts.

And neither are ill-advised human actions that can lure the bears.

With the animals encircling the village, authorities have taken a number of safety measures, such as securing a local school with fencing, while military personnel are traveling to their posts at a nearby base in "special vehicles".

Such restrictions are meant to prevent just the sort of encounters that are now terrorizing the settlement. Human food is a major attraction to bears of all kinds At many campgrounds trash is thrown into bear proof containers. "This is an anthropogenic problem".

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