Polar bears invade Arctic archipelago, chase locals

Russian islands declare emergency over polar bear `invasion`

Guardian reported that a team of specialists have been deployed by Russian environmental authorities to the islands located in a remote Arctic region to sedate these polar bears.

According to the American newspaper, at least 52 bears were found near Belushya Guba, the main settlement on the island, which is still used as a military garrison. Then the furry beast is seen circling in the lobby amongst baby strollers and other belongings.

However, thinning sea ice caused by global warming likely drove the bears inland in search of more readily available meals, researchers from Moscow's A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, a branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, told TASS.

The worrying migration of bears began late previous year when the animals started to flock to the settlements of Novaya Zemlya en masse, seeking food at local dumps and harassing residents and their pets.

Like this story? Share it with a friend! The region declared a state of emergency over a "mass invasion" of polar bears.

Local administrator Alexander Minayev said bears had attacked people and entered buildings.

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

Russian Federation classes polar bears as endangered and hunting them is banned.

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

"I've been on Novaya Zemlya since 1983 and there's never been such a mass invasion of polar bears", he told regional officials. Attempts to scare off the polar bears using auto horns and dogs have all failed, the Tass news agency said. Photos and videos posted over the weekend show the bears traipsing through empty schoolyards and even infiltrating the corridors of office buildings in search of food.

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

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