Feb 11, 2019

Russian islands declare emergency after mass invasion of polar bears

Novaya Zemlya, Smolensk Oblast
Russia
by
Marc Bennetts
,
The Guardian
Photo: friend_of_your_friend on Instagram
Photo: friend_of_your_friend on Instagram

Russian environmental authorities have deployed a team of specialists to a remote Arctic region to sedate and remove dozens of hungry polar bears that have besieged the people living there.

The move came after officials in the Novaya Zemlya archipelago, with a population of about 3,000 people, appealed for help.

“There’s never been such a mass invasion of polar bears,” said Zhigansha Musin, the head of the local administration. “They have literally been chasing people.”

Alexander Minayev, the region’s deputy head, added: “People are scared, and afraid to leave their homes. Parents are unwilling to let their children go to school or nursery.” A state of emergency has been declared in the region.