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Russia islands emergency over polar bear ‘invasion’

ITN News Editor
By ITN News Editor February 10, 2019 13:16

Russia islands emergency over polar bear ‘invasion’

A remote Russian region has declared a state of emergency over the appearance of dozens of polar bears in its human settlements. Authorities in the Novaya Zemlya islands, home to a few thousand people, said there were cases of bears attacking people and entering residential and public buildings.Polar bears are affected by climate change and are increasingly forced on to land to look for food.Russia classes them as endangered.Hunting the bears is banned, and the federal environment agency has refused to issue licences to shoot them.

The bears had lost their fear of police patrols and signals used to warn them off, meaning that more drastic measures were needed. They say that if other means to scare off the bears fail a cull could be the only answer.

The archipelago’s main settlement, Belushya Guba, has reported a total of 52 bears in its vicinity, with between six and 10 constantly on its territory.Local administration head Vigansha Musin said more than five bears were on the territory of the local military garrison, where air and air defence forces are based.

ITN News Editor
By ITN News Editor February 10, 2019 13:16

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