Russian islands declare emergency after polar bear 'invasion'

Via:  perrie-halpern  •  5 months ago  •  9 comments

Russian islands declare emergency after polar bear 'invasion'
"The people are scared," the regional government said in a statement.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T

By Tim Stelloh

A remote Russian archipelago declared a state of emergency on Saturday after an “invasion” of dozens of polar bears, that country’s state news agency said.

A local official, Alexander Minayev, said that 52 polar bears were spotted between December and February near Belushya Guba, a settlement on the Novaya Zemlya archipelago in the Arctic Ocean, according to the news agency TASS.

Some of the animals have attacked people and entered residential buildings, the agency said.

“Residents, schools and kindergartens are submitting numerous oral and written complaints demanding to ensure safety in the settlement,” the regional government said in a statement, according to TASS.

“The people are scared. They are frightened to leave homes and their daily routines are broken. Parents are afraid to let the children go to school or kindergarten.”

The bears appeared unfazed by dogs, additional fencing around schools and patrol vehicles, TASS reported.

A team of experts would be sent to Novaya Zemlya to assess the bears' behavior, the TASS report said, adding that the country’s environmental watchdog had denied licenses allowing the killing of aggressive bears.

The TASS report did not specify a cause for the encounters.

Estimates put the worldwide population of polar bears at 26,000. The animals were listed as threatened by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2008 amid concerns about climate change and reductions in habitat.

Though attacks on humans are rare, according to the conservation group Polar Bears International, they’re expected to increase as more sea ice melts and the animals spend more time ashore.


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Perrie Halpern R.A.
1  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.    5 months ago

And this is just the beginning....

2  igknorantzrulz    5 months ago

Those bears don't sound, as if their behavior is that of Atypical bears, indigenous to this region, as their bearhaviorsm could be a normal systemic reaction to actions, bought and brought, over a third of the time, by a third of debears.

It is also, though obviously  omnipresent, that these bears could be Bi Polar bears

3  dave-2693993    5 months ago

Didn't something like this happen in Canada a decade or so ago?

I wonder if this town in Russia could benefit from lessons learned from that experience?

4  FLYNAVY1    5 months ago

Human activity has changed nature, and nature is attempting to adapt to those changes. 

In the course of human events, I've noted that nature rarely scores a victory.  Polar bears it would seem to be one of the next species to post in the lost column.

5  SteevieGee    5 months ago

Normally these bears would be out on the ice.  Where else could they go?

5.1  Enoch  replied to  SteevieGee @5    5 months ago

If they are Jewish, Bear-Mitzvahs.



†hε pε⊕pレε'š ƒïšh
6  †hε pε⊕pレε'š ƒïšh    5 months ago

White bear privilege is a problem everywhere.

7  dave-2693993    5 months ago

This was from 2011. As far as i can tell the referenced video doesn't there is something out on youtube.

11/20/2011 05:12 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Polar Bears Invade Canadian Town As The Result Of Climate Change (VIDEO)

The potential effect of climate change on polar bears has long been documented, but now it’s starting to be seen.

The town of Churchill, Manitoba in Canada has recently found itself overrun with the bears, according to Good Morning America. The problem has become so severe that the town has even created a “bear jail” for bears that wander into the town.

In a report with GMA, which you can see for yourself below, officials showed how when a bear roams into town, it’s often tranquillized and taken to the “jail” for some time before being airlifted and released some distance away. Each bear is marked, and officials make note of repeat offenders.

According to Reuters, the polar bears typically walk out on the ice of the nearby bay around this time of year. Because of climate change, the freeze is coming later and later each year, keeping bears on the mainland for longer.

The more time the animals spend on land, the more likely they are to come in contact with humans. It’s an everday sign of how climate change is endangering polar bears. The effect could be so dramatic that the animals may be in serious trouble.

Ian Stirling, a wildlife biologist who’s been studying the bears for 41 years, told the Vancouver Sun that the bears in Manitoba and Ontario may be doomed. Less feeding and fewer births may be a sign of the end for the creatures.

Stirling believes this will lead to the disappearance of polar bears from northeastern Manitoba, northern Ontario and parts [of] Nunavut and Quebec within decades, barring the unlikely event the planet quickly begins to cool. “Things definitely don’t look good for the Western Hudson Bay and Southern Hudson Bay populations,” Stirling said in an interview on Wednesday, referring to the world’s southernmost polar-bear subpopulations.

However, there are those who are doing what they can to avoid the demise of these iconic animals. Activists have set up live webcams to allow people to watch the great polar bear migration live. You can see that live feed here, as they try to raise awareness about the plight of the bears.


8  dave-2693993    5 months ago

This is a more recent story of the same town in 2016. Again, the idea is to see if lessons learned could benefit the Russian town in the seeded article.

This Canadian town hosts over 1,000 polar bears every year

'Polar Bear Town' documents the famous annual migration.

Michael d'Estries
November 15, 2016, 11:35 a.m.
A character from the new Smithsonian Channel series. (Photo: 'Polar Bear Town')

If you happen to make the drive to Churchill, Manitoba, during the fall months, don't forget to leave your car unlocked. The small town, located along the Hudson Bay, has made locking vehicles illegal for one very big reason: escaping polar bears.

Every year, starting in September and lasting through November, roughly 1,000 polar bears migrate through Churchill en route to the Hudson Bay. The bears, many of them 10 feet long and weighing more than 1,400 pounds, bide their time along the peninsula until the bay freezes and opportunities to hunt seals become plentiful. During that fall window, Churchill's permanent population of 800 or so residents balloons with more than 10,000 tourists descending on the "Polar Bear Capital of the World" to witness the invasion.

As you might expect, this unique interaction between man and the world's largest land carnivore is fertile ground for television. Starting this week, the Smithsonian Channel is premiering its new series "Polar Bear Town," documenting over six episodes the local people of Churchill, the "Lords of the Arctic" they host each autumn, and the tourists who come to watch it all play out.

From September through November, thousands of tourists flock to Churchill to photograph the polar bear migration. (Photo: 'Polar Bear Town')

As the series explores, there are several safeguards that Churchill has in place to make sure the bears and humans coexist in relative safety. During the migration months, four to five natural resource officers patrol the area around the town and monitor a 24-hour bear hotline. If you see a bear, you call the number, and immediately a perimeter is set up to keep the massive animal from progressing further into Churchill.

"In typical town patrol, I’m up at daylight and patrolling with four other colleagues," Natural Resource Officer Wayde Roberts explained during a 2002 interview. "There’s a control zone that’s set up, which is basically a border around the town of Churchill. If any bears pass through it, we try to capture them. When the bears move around a lot, we get very busy and may handle 12 to 14 bears before noon on any given day. Obviously, the idea is to create and maintain a separation between the bears and humans."

For those Arctic giants that insist on taking in the town's sights, Churchill has created a special holding facility known as "polar bear jail." Officials keep problem bears in 28 air-conditioned cells until the Hudson Bay ice has frozen over. They then airlift the tranquilized bears and release them a safe distance from any human settlements.

A polar bear and its cub snuggle up outside Churchill, Manitoba. (Photo: 'Polar Bear Town')

While Churchill has a strict policy about visitors and locals alike not wandering the town at night, that restriction is loosened for one day of the year: Halloween. In the episode "Halloween Horror Story," the Smithsonian Channel examines the lengths taken by conservation officers to ensure a safe evening for trick-or-treaters. As MNN's Laura Moss explained, it's a massive team effort by a number of local agencies.

"On Oct. 31, a helicopter goes up at 3 p.m. to scour the area for bears, and as night falls, numerous vehicles patrol the area," she wrote. "In addition to [conservation officers], there are Royal Canadian Mounted Police, an army reserve unit, fire trucks and ambulances."

Despite some close calls, including a 2013 incident in which a man narrowly escaped severe injury by distracting a violent bear with his cellphone, there has not been a fatal attack in Churchill since 1983.

The series premiere of "Polar Bear Town" roars onto the Smithsonian Channel on Nov. 16 at 8 p.m. ET/PT — but you don't have to wait. The network has generously posted an intro to the first episode for those interested in an early sneak peek. You can watch in the video below:


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