Polar Bears Searching For Food Invade Russian Town, Terrifying Residents

Russian islands declare emergency over polar bear 'invasion'

A chain of remote Russian islands has declared a state of emergency after it was swarmed with hungry polar bears.

As many as 50 polar bears have been terrorising local on Novaya Zemlya, a group of islands off Russia' northern coast.

However, despite desperate pleas for help, Russian authorities have so far refused permission to shoot the bears.

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"Global warming is melting the ice so it has a chain reaction on how polar bears can survive", Liz Greengrass, a director at United Kingdom animal conservation charity Born Free Foundation told CNN in 2018. Scientists have long warned that the shrinking sea ice in the Arctic poses a direct threat to the bears, and increases the likelihood of encounters with humans.

"The decision to declare an emergency situation on the territory of Novaya Zemlya from February 9 was taken at a meeting of the commission tasked to prevent emergencies and ensure fire safety", said a statement from the regional government released on Saturday.

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.

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Musin's deputy Alexander Minayev said people were scared and afraid of leaving their homes. The settlement has put up additional fences in an effort to control the bears. "Parents are unwilling to let their children go to school or nursery".

"There's never been such a mass invasion of polar bears".

Bears are constantly inside a military garrison and "literally chase people" as well as going into the entrances of blocks of flats, another official said.

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Local officials complained that measures to scare off polar bears such as vehicle and dog patrols have not been effective as polar bears feel secure and no longer react. Attempts to scare off the polar bears using auto horns and dogs have all failed, the Tass news agency said.

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