A Russian Arctic archipelago yesterday declared an emergency situation over an “invasion” of dozens of aggressive polar bears that have entered homes and public buildings.
Russia’s northeastern Novaya Zemlya archipelago, which has a population of around 3,000 people, has appealed for help to tackle “a mass invasion of polar bears into inhabited areas,” regional authorities said in a statement.
Russian authorities have so far refused permission to shoot the bears but are sending a commission to investigate the situation and have not ruled out a cull.
Polar bears are recognized as an endangered species in Russia and hunting them is banned. Russia has an air force and air defence troops based on Novaya Zemlya.