Russian islands declare emergency after mass invasion of polar bears

Russian islands declare emergency over polar bear 'invasion'

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Guardian reported that a team of specialists have been deployed by Russian environmental authorities to the islands located in a remote Arctic region to sedate these polar bears.

"I have been in Novaya Zemlya since 1983, but there has never been so many polar bears in the vicinity", local leader Zhigansha Musin told the news agency.

The government made a decision to send specialists on the islands after officials in the Novaya Zemlya archipelago, with a population of about 3,000 people, sought help.

Polar bears are increasingly coming into contact with humans as climate change reduces their sea-ice habitats, forcing them on land for longer periods of time. "They have literally been chasing people".

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.

Alexander Minayev, the region's deputy head, added: "People are scared, and afraid to leave their homes". Extra fences have been installed near kindergartens to ensure children's safety while special vehicles are taking military personnel and other residents to workplaces. "Parents are unwilling to let their children go to school or nursery". Attempts to scare off the polar bears using auto horns and dogs have all failed, the Tass news agency said.

In an interview with TASS, local administration chief Zhigansha Musin said that, because it is illegal to cull polar bears in Russian Federation, "we will have to embark on a longer and less safe way for local residents".

"The decision to declare an emergency situation on the territory of Novaya Zemlya from February 9 was taken at a meeting of the commission tasked to prevent emergencies and ensure fire safety", said a statement from the regional government released on Saturday.

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