Russian islands declare emergency over polar bear `invasion`


In an interview with TASS, local administration chief Zhigansha Musin said that, because it is illegal to cull polar bears in Russian Federation, "we will have to embark on a longer and less safe way for local residents". As Liz Greengrass, a director at the United Kingdom -based Born Free Foundation, told CNN a year ago: "Polar bears are reliant on seals for food and seals rely on sea ice".

A remote archipelago in the north of Russian Federation has declared a state of emergency after an invasion of polar bears sparked concerns among the region's residents, according to state media.

The video was filmed on January 21 but emerged online recently after news about a "polar bear evasion" grabbed headlines in Russian Federation.

Novaya Zemlya was used by the Soviet Union to conduct nuclear tests, The Washington Post reported.

With rising temperatures increasingly destroying the bears' Arctic habitats, interactions with humans are becoming more common.

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Since December, those living around the area's largest settlement-Belushya Guba, which has a population of about 2,500-have reported seeing at least 52 polar bears. They are frightened to leave homes and their daily routines are broken.

The Novaya Zemlya is home to about 3,000 civil people, There are also military men there, but their quantity remains classified. The residents of the island tried to scare off the polar bears using auto horns and dogs, but in vain.

The federal environmental resources agency has refused to issue licences to shoot the most aggressive bears. At the same time, it was said that polar bears do not show any reaction in response to people's attempts to scare them off. People try to use noise signals, patrol vehicles and dogs to scare the bears away, although to no avail.

The Arkhangelsk regional authorities, which oversee Novaya Zemlya, said that if all else failed "shooting the animals could be the only possible forced measure". "A total of 50 polar bears are near the human settlements so we have loads of work ahead".