US News: Russia vows not to shoot dozens of polar bears after they invaded an Arctic town and 'chased terrified residents' amid fears plan to relocate predators will end in disaster - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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US NewsRussia vows not to shoot dozens of polar bears after they invaded an Arctic town and 'chased terrified residents' amid fears plan to relocate predators will end in disaster

12:15  11 february  2019
12:15  11 february  2019 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

State of emergency as polar bears invade Russian region

State of emergency as polar bears invade Russian region A state of emergency has been declared in the remote Russian archipelago of Novaya Zemlya after dozens of polar bears invaded human settlements, according to reports. According to Russian news agency TASS, the governor of the Archangelsk region said the decision was taken to "prevent emergencies and ensure fire safety". "The emergency situation was caused by the mass invasion of polar bears in residential areas," the region said in a press release. "Residents, schools and kindergartens are submitting numerous oral and written complaints demanding to ensure safety in the settlement. The people are scared," it added.

The town of Belushya Guba seems to be the most affected by the polar bear problem, with at least 52 specimen roaming around the vicinity. The administration has asked the national nature protection watchdog for permission to shoot and kill the most rowdy bears , yet the request has been denied.

An Arctic region of Russia has declared a state of emergency over a polar bear 'invasion' which has left Scavengers: More than a dozen polar bears search through a pile of rubbish amid a state of Presence: Two of the dozens of polar bears regularly spotted in the area. People are 'afraid to go

Russia vows not to shoot dozens of polar bears after they invaded an Arctic town and 'chased terrified residents' amid fears plan to relocate predators will end in disaster © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Russia has vowed not to shoot dozens of polar bears terrorising an Arctic town amid fears a plan to relocate the predators will end in disaster. More than a dozen polar bears are pictured searching through a pile of rubbish amid a state of emergency and fears that the animals no longer feel scared of patrols Russia has vowed not to shoot dozens of polar bears terrorising an Arctic town amid fears a plan to relocate the predators will end in disaster.

Officials are preparing an urgent operation to sedate and remove the 52 bears after they invaded Belushya Guba on Russia's Novaya Zemlya archipelago and started 'chasing' frightened locals.

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Polar bears in Russia are classed as an endangered species. Hunting the animals is banned and Novaya Zemlya residents have been warned that if they shoot the bears , they could face prosecution. Yet despite the creatures’ incursion, the federal environment agency has refused to issue licenses to

The beasts will be transported a long distance away from the town - but critics of the scheme warn they could rapidly come back.

Extraordinary pictures and video show how people are living in fear in the settlement with polar bears stalking apartment blocks and scavenging at dumps.

The head of the local settlement said that Russia's nature conservancy agency Rosprirodnadzor - which bans slaughtering the endangered wild animals - is sending a team to the remote islands to sedate and move the animals.

'We have introduced a state of emergency in the settlements for an unlimited time,' said Zhigansha Musin. Russia vows not to shoot dozens of polar bears after they invaded an Arctic town and 'chased terrified residents' amid fears plan to relocate predators will end in disaster © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Aggressive: A polar bear at a playground on the Novaya Zemlya archipelago in northern Russia, with parents left worried about sending their children to schools and kindergartens

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The Arctic predators have chased and attacked people on the Soviet nuclear testing archipelago of Novaya Zemly. A polar bear invasion is terrorising Russians on a remote Arctic island after more than 50 beasts besieged the town . A state of emergency has been called on Soviet nuclear testing

Residents living in a remote Russian town are under siege - from an unlikely predator . Residents of a remote Russian town are under siege from hungry polar bears and fear the predators will eat them . Videos show the nightmare in bleak Arctic port Dikson with a pack of at least half a dozen

'We asked Rosprirodnadzor to provide us with people. They will catch the bears.

'The predators will be put to sleep and taken out of the settlement. We will not shoot them. We already have a group of four people.'

The operation to clear the town of polar bears should begin within days after the specialists fly in on Tuesday, he said.

On Sunday his deputy Aleksandr Minayev warned that residents are 'afraid to go outside' and 'daily life is in turmoil'.

'Parents are wary of letting children to go to schools and kindergartens,' he said. Russia vows not to shoot dozens of polar bears after they invaded an Arctic town and 'chased terrified residents' amid fears plan to relocate predators will end in disaster © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Lurking: One of the polar bears, who cannot legally be shot because they are endangered

Footage shows the bears entering apartment blocks.

But a WWF expert in Russia blamed the country's defence ministry - which controls the territory around the settlement - for failing to act sooner.

And he forecast the plan to move the bears would end in disaster.

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RESIDENTS of a remote Russian town are under siege from hungry polar bears and fear the predators will eat them . Armed police are not allowed by law to shoot to kill unless a predator attacks a human, directly endangering life. The bears are attracted to rubbish bins, according to reports.

Russia . Image: Dozens of polar bears have been spotted near human settlements. File pic. " Residents , schools and kindergartens are submitting numerous oral and written complaints Polar bears are considered a vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

'Everyone knew this might happen,' said Mikhail Stishov, WWF coordinator for Arctic biodiversity projects.

'There are many more polar bears on shores because of lengthy absence of ice. Russia vows not to shoot dozens of polar bears after they invaded an Arctic town and 'chased terrified residents' amid fears plan to relocate predators will end in disaster © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Presence: Two of the dozens of polar bears regularly spotted in the area. People are 'afraid to go outside' and 'daily life is in turmoil', a local official said

'They come to the shore, attracted by human settlements which they specially like when the rubbish disposal system is not set up properly.'

Archipelago authorities had known a problem was coming, he said.

But the Defence Ministry earlier banned WWF experts from visiting the restricted military area, he said.

He warned: 'It's not at all cheap and easy, to sedate and move them away.

'We have to transport them really far, because if we just take them some 20, 30 kilometres they will be be back very soon to an area which they know has food.

Russia vows not to shoot dozens of polar bears after they invaded an Arctic town and 'chased terrified residents' amid fears plan to relocate predators will end in disaster © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Playground: One of the animals roams around a Russian yard on the Arctic archipelago

'So we are talking about a minimum of a two or three hour flight to the other side of the island.

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Ship delivered dogs and flares to staff at Arctic weather station after they were encircled by 10 adult bears for two weeks.

A dozen polar bears pick through the bone pile that sits just outside town . Men from the whaling crews had dumped the carcass of a bowhead whale on the pile earlier in the day. As two visitors watch from the safety of a pickup truck a few hundred yards away, the bears devour the leftover meat and blubber.

'And of course it will be next to impossible to move all 50 bears. But if the scientists identity a pack of leaders, or the most daring bears, then taking just them away might be worth trying.

'The experts who will travel there have all necessary equipment and means to solve the problem.'

Alexey Kokorin, head of the WWF climate programme, said: 'These are males, because females and cubs are hibernating.

'But in fact both males and females see humans for just one thing - food.

'I think there is no other animal like polar bears that so deliberately chases humans.

'Once they see these strange-looking two-legged seals, they know 'Ok, this is food'.'

Musin said: 'I have been in Novaya Zemlya since 1983, yet I've never seen such a massive polar bear invasion.'

The animals are 'literally chasing people and even entering the entrances of residential buildings'.

Shooting in the air, sounding car horns and erecting fences have all failed so far to quell the bar invasion.

Russian laws forbid the slaughter of polar bears except in specific cases where they attack humans.

The besieged town is five miles from a Russian military base.

Some experts say climate change is to blame for the bears behaviour - because the ocean is no longer frozen.

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