Remote Russian Island Invaded By Unwanted Guests

first_img Russia’s Humanoid Robot Returns Safely to EarthRussia Launches Humanoid Robot to ISS Stay on target A Russian Arctic archipelago is under siege by … polar bears?Novaya Zemlya, a Soviet nuclear test base with a population of about 3,000, declared an emergency situation following a weeks-long “invasion” of the aggressive animals.Since December, locals have reported a “large accumulation” of polar bears across the isle; a whopping 52 bears were seen in the southwest village of Belushya Guba alone.The Russian government also described cases of “aggressive behavior,” including attacks on people and forced entry into residential and office buildings.“People are scared, afraid to leave the house, their daily activities are disrupted, parents are afraid to let their children go to schools,” Alexander Minaev, deputy head of the local administration, said in a translated press release.In an attempt to safeguard residents, additional fences were erected near kindergartens and military personnel and workers were driven to service in secure vehicles.But the bears, driven out of the warming ocean by climate change, appear to be acclimating to their new on-land lifestyle, no longer frightened by bright lights and loud noises. Attempts to drive them away using patrol cars and dogs have been futile, according to officials.“I have been on Novaya Zemlya since 1983, but never before has there been such a massive invasion of polar bears,” according to local administration head Zhigansha Musin.At least five maritime bears were spotted on a local military garrison, “literally chasing people” and entering residential buildings, he said in a translated press release.Though classified by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) as “vulnerable,” Russia considers polar bears an endangered species, and bans the hunting of them.Russia’s Federal Service for Supervision of Nature Management has refused to issue licenses to shoot the most aggressive of the lot. Instead, a task force will be sent to the archipelago to “assess the situation and take measures to prevent the polar bears from attacking people,” the press release said.If the government can’t rid the island of these animals, a cull may be the only option.Novaya Zemlya will remain in emergency mode “until the security of the local population is ensured.”More on Geek.com:Watch: Cute Polar Bear Cub Opens Eyes for First TimeWWF: Human Consumption to Blame for Declining Wildlife PopulationsAmazon Warehouse Workers Hospitalized in Bear Repellent IncidentTurns Out Yetis Are Really Just Bearslast_img read more