Dozens of Polar Bears Descend Upon Russian Town - WWF

The Russian village of Ryrkaypiy in the country's north is facing a polar bear

The Russian village of Ryrkaypiy in the country's north is facing a polar bear"invasion" scientists say

"If the ice were strong enough the bears, or at least some of them, would have already gone to sea, where they could hunt for seals or sea hares", he told BBC News.

"Almost all the bears are thin", said Tatyana Minenko, Ryrkapiy's head of polar bear patrol in the Chukotka autonomous district.

Last week, a polar bear specialist from the Institute of Biological Problems of the North said the bears now visit Ryrkaypiy so often that the village should be evacuated, and its roughly 700 residents resettled.

The animals were "both adult and young. there were females with cubs of different ages", she said, adding that nearly all of them appeared to be thin.

"The number of human and predator encounters in the Arctic is increasing", the WWF said in statement. Until ice coverage becomes thick enough again, the bears will remain on land and search for food along the shore, he said.

Two rangers Tatiana Minenko and Maksim Deminov are working around the clock, driving about the village several times at day and night to prevent potential clashes.

"We have created a feeding point with walrus carcasses that we gathered along the coast", she told news agency RIA Novosti.

Experts described the polar bears seen outside the village of Ryrkaypiy as skinny as the animals migrate past the remote Siberian settlement.

There are guards on duty next to local kindergarten and school.

All public events like preparation for end of year concerts, rehearsals, and local gatherings were cancelled for the duration of the bear "invasion".

Children are also forced to take specially scheduled buses to school.

These were left from early autumn when thousands of seals stayed there.

WWF Russia says the villagers are waiting for freezing weather to harden ice surfaces and allow the polar bears to return to their habitat on Cape Kozhevnikov.

A village in Russia's Far North has been overrun by more than 50 polar bears.

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