Leaving Its Natural Arctic Habitat, Visibly Ill Polar Bear Wanders Into Russian City

Published : 21 Jun 2019 7:27 AM GMT
Leaving Its Natural Arctic Habitat, Visibly Ill Polar Bear Wanders Into Russian City

Straying hundreds of kilometres from its natural Arctic habitat, a starving, exhausted polar bear wandered into the Russian industrial city of Norilsk in northern Siberia.

In Norilsk’s suburbs on Tuesday, June 18, the visibly ill and weak female bear lay despondently, occasionally rising to look for food.

According to local environmentalists, this is the first polar bear seen inside the city in more than 40 years.

Polar Bears’ Sea-Ice Habitats Have Been Continuously Damaged

“She is still moving around a factory, under observation by police and the emergency services, who are ensuring her safety and those of residents,” The Guardian quoted environmental services official Alexander Korobkin as telling AFP.

Korobkin further said that the bear was first spotted in an industrial area north-east of central Norilsk on the evening on June 16. To inspect the polar bear and decide its fate, a team of specialists will be arriving on Wednesday, June 19.

According to Oleg Krashevsky, a local wildlife expert who filmed the polar bear from a close distance, it was not clear what had brought the bear to the city. The reason could be as simple as the bear getting lost.

The animal had watery eyes and it was clear that it could not see clearly.

Polar bears’ sea-ice habitats have been continuously damaged by the climate crisis, forcing them to look for food on land and bringing them into contact with human beings and inhabited areas.

Earlier this year, several hungry polar bears were seen looking for food and entering public places and homes, as a result of which a state of emergency was declared in a remote inhabited area of northern Russian.

On June 19, state wildlife experts are expected to arrive in Norilsk to assess the condition of the female bear.

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