Mother and father in a distant Russian archipelago are scared to send their youngsters to high school after a “mass invasion” of polar bears into residential areas, state information agency TASS reported.
Novaya Zemlya, situated off Russia’s northeastern arctic coast, has been swarmed by dozens of polar bears since December. The area’s largest settlement, Belushya Guba, with a population of about 2,500 individuals, has reported greater than 50 sightings.
Local administrator Alexander Minayev stated bears had attacked individuals and entered buildings. A state of emergency was introduced on Saturday, with as much as 10 polar bears reportedly on the settlement’s territory at any given time.
“Individuals are scared. They’re frightened to go away houses, and their every day routines are damaged,” Minayev stated. “Mother and father are afraid to let the youngsters go to high school or kindergarten.”
Climate change effects
Polar bears are increasingly coming into contact with people as local weather change reduces their sea-ice habitats, forcing them on land for longer durations of time.
“Polar bears are reliant on seals for food and seals depend on sea ice. International warming is melting the ice so it has a sequence response on how polar bears can survive,” Liz Greengrass, a director at UK animal conservation charity Born Free Basis advised CNN in 2018.
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has helped arrange patrols in some arctic communities to stop probably deadly encounters, introducing deterrence tools akin to noise making machines, brighter lighting in public spaces, bear-proof meals storage containers and safety protocols for when bears do enter communities. Rubber bullets may also be used.