Emergency Declared As Polar Bears 'Invade' Remote Russian Settlement
An emergency situation has been declared in the remote Novaya Zemlya islands in northern Russia that have been inundated with up to 52 polar bears.
One polar bear is frightening enough; measuring up to three metres long, weighing up to 800 kilograms and armed with massive claws and teeth, it is the world's largest land carnivore.
After over 50 of the giant predators appeared in the vicinity of the remote Russian settlement of Belushya Guba, local authorities declared an emergency situation.
"There are cases of aggressive behaviour of wild animals -- attacks on people, penetration into residential office buildings. Constantly in the village are from six to 10 polar bears," local administrator Alexander Minaviev said in a media statement.
The Russian government considers the massive carnivores an endangered species and despite the declaration of an emergency situation have not granted authorities permission to shoot the animals.
The bears are said to no longer react to lights and noises designed to drive them out of the town but extra measures such as additional fencing have been implemented in the region.
"I have been on Novaya Zemlya since 1983, but never before that has there been such a massive invasion of polar bears," said Zhigansa Musin, the head of the Novaya Zemlya Municipal Education Institution.
Polar pears are being increasingly driven onto land because of the melting of Arctic sea ice, with their numbers rapidly declining.
The WWF says that their population is set to drop by 30 percent by 2050.
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