Someone tell Al Gore. The northern Russian Arkhangelsk region, which sits north of European Russia and contains the Novaya Zemlya archipelago in the Berents Sea, is overrun with polar bears, with dozens of the creatures invading human settlements.
The situation is so dire that culling the animals maybe needed as a last resort, as nothing else seems to be working, reported Russian state new agency TASS.
“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,” says a statement from the region’s government released on Saturday.
“The emergency situation was caused by the mass invasion of polar bears in residential areas,” it said.
According to Alexander Minayev, the deputy head of Novaya Zemlya administration, dozens of polar bears gathered near human settlements from December 2018 until February 2019. At least 52 polar bears were spotted near the settlement of Belushya Guba. There were cases of wild animals’ aggression when they attacked people and entered residential buildings and offices. Between six and ten polar bears are constantly on the territory of the settlement, reported TASS.
“Residents, schools and kindergartens are submitting numerous oral and written complaints demanding to ensure safety in the settlement. The people are scared. They are frightened to leave homes and their daily routines are broken. Parents are afraid to let the children go to school or kindergarten,” says the statement.
“I have been in Novaya Zemlya since 1983, but there has never been so many polar bears in the vicinity. I recall that over five polar bears are in the [military] garrison chasing people and entering residential buildings. However, if a cull is banned, we will have to embark on a longer and less safe way for local residents,” Musin said.
“A total of 50 polar bears are near the human settlements so we have loads of work ahead,” declared Novaya Zemlya head Zhigansha Musin.