Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Russian Military Responding to Polar Bear Invasion in Arctic Town

Animals
Russian Military Responding to Polar Bear Invasion in Arctic Town
On thin ice. Christopher Michel / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

The Russian military is taking measures to protect the residents of a remote Arctic settlement from a mass of polar bears, German press agency DPA reported.

The move comes after regional authorities declared a state of emergency over the weekend after sightings of more than 50 bears in the town of Belushya Guba since December.


The military's official newspaper, Krasnaya Zvezda (or "Red Star"), reported Friday that the Defense Ministry has teamed up with the local administration and environmental experts to protect the village inhabitants from "the aggressive behavior of polar bears."

One of the actions to prevent future invasions include converting an open dump into a waste incineration site within the next two years so it will no longer attract hungry bears, the report stated.

Video footage and photos posted to social media show the animals eating garbage from a trash dump, appearing near school grounds and entering buildings and residential homes.

"It is impossible to run away from a polar bear!" Belushya Guba administrators said in a statement quoted by DPA. "Due to a deficit of food, polar bears can turn their attention to any potential source of food, including a human."

Polar bears are considered an endangered species in Russia, so killing them is prohibited. But officials said that if non-lethal means cannot drive away the marauders, they might have no choice but to cull them, the BBC reported.

A polar bear uses sea ice as a platform to catch its favored prey, ringed and bearded seals. But the rapidly warming Arctic has broken up sea ice and has forced bears to spend more time on land to search of food, like in the Russian settlement, experts have theorized.

A group of scientists from the national natural resources agency have recently been sent to the area to help disperse the animals, according to the Associated Press. They are equipped with the tools and training to properly sedate and relocate the bear.

"That's just an option; at the moment it is being considered, but there's no 100-percent guarantee it will be applied," Alexander Gornikh, regional head of the natural resources agency, told the AP.

Fortunately, the military said in Krasnaya Zvezda's report that there is hope that the bears will go away on their own, as ice cover has formed amid falling temperatures.

Pexels

By Daniel Raichel

Industry would have us believe that pesticides help sustain food production — a necessary chemical trade-off for keeping harmful bugs at bay and ensuring we have enough to eat. But the data often tell a different story—particularly in the case of neonicotinoid pesticides, also known as neonics.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A Fridays for Future activist on Oct. 9, 2020 in Turin, Italy. Stefano Guidi / Getty Images

By Andrea Germanos

Fed up with "empty promises" from world leaders, a dozen youth activists on Wednesday demanded newly sworn-in President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris take swift and bold climate action — even more far-reaching than promised on the campaign trail — stating that their "present and future depend on the actions your government takes within the next four years."

Read More Show Less

Trending

Several innovative companies have begun brainstorming better ways to repurpose old wind turbine blades. xu wu / Getty Images

When wind turbine blades reach the end of their usefulness, most are sawed into transportable pieces and hauled to landfills, where they never break down. Because of the resources and energy that go into producing these blades, this type of disposal is inefficient and wasteful. Recently, several innovative companies have begun brainstorming better ways to repurpose this green technology after it goes offline.

Read More Show Less
A replica of a titanosaur. AIZAR RALDES / AFP via Getty Images

New fossils uncovered in Argentina may belong to one of the largest animals to have walked on Earth.

Read More Show Less
Trump's Affordable Clean Energy rule eliminated a provision mandating that utilities move away from coal. VisionsofAmerica /Joe Sohm / Getty Images

A federal court on Tuesday struck down the Trump administration's rollback of the Obama-era Clean Power Plan regulating greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

Read More Show Less