Russian islands declare emergency after mass invasion of polar bears

Russian islands declare emergency over polar bear 'invasion'

Russian islands declare emergency over polar bear 'invasion'

A remote archipelago in the north of Russian Federation has declared a state of emergency after an invasion of polar bears sparked concerns among the region's residents, according to state media.

A Russian Arctic archipelago on Saturday declared an emergency situation over an "invasion" of dozens of aggressive polar bears that have entered homes and public buildings. A specialist group will be deployed to figure out how best to remove the bears.

Because residents of the Russian region are banned from shooting the bears, which are classified by the country's environmental watchdog as an endangered species, a team of experts is being dispatched to the archipelago-home to about 3,000 people-in hopes of preventing animal attacks, according to the Russian news agency TASS.

The state of emergency was declared February 9 due to the "mass invasion of polar bears in residential areas", said Alexander Minayev, deputy head of the Novaya Zemlya administration, in a statement.

Other footage shows the polar bears feeding on rubbish at a local dump.

It is thought that rising global temperatures have contributed to a reduction in the size of the polar bears' sea-ice habitats, forcing them onto land for longer periods of time.

Local people are scared, they are afraid to leave their houses, daily activities have been disrupted, parents do not let their children go to schools and kindergartens. Attempts to scare the hungry bears away with vehicle patrols and dogs have failed.

The influx of polar bears has steadily climbed as the affects of climate change drive the large predators further inland to seek food as the Arctic ice melts depriving them of rich hunting grounds.

Novaya Zemlya was used by the Soviet Union to conduct nuclear tests, The Washington Post reported.

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