The report of a starved polar bear wandering hundreds of kilometres away from its natural habitat into a congested industrial area, off Moscow in Russia searching for food has stunned the world. Spotted more than 400 kilometers from its traditional territory, the starved bear is being treated at a local zoo. Hunting and climate change are being blamed for it turning up in a Siberian city.
THE STARVING POLAR BEAR WANDERED INTO A RUSSIAN CITY SCAVENGING FOR FOOD
A polar bear described as sick and starving wandered into an industrial city in northern Siberia, roaming the streets and a local garbage dump scavenging for something to eat. Officials in Norilsk, which is above the Arctic Circle, alerted residents that a polar bear had been seen in the Russian city for the first time in more than four decades. Photos showed the female, trudging across a busy road with muddy paws, digging through rubble and trash and lying down from apparent exhaustion on the ground.
STARVED POLAR BEAR HAS BEEN RESCUED BY SIBERIAN ZOO
For now the malnourished polar bear has been flown to a zoo in a Siberian city for treatment. The bear is receiving all necessary treatment and healthy food. The zoo said on social media that the bear may just have also been held captive by poachers and then released.
NOT THE FIRST TIME THAT POLAR BEARS HAS LEFT THEIR HABITAT
A wildlife expert who captured images of the bear told Reuters that it had watery eyes and did not appear to be able to see well. The recent sighting is reminiscent of one earlier this year in which dozens of polar bears invaded a Russian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean. In February, local reports estimated that about 50 polar bears had taken over Novaya Zemlya, popping up in buildings, on playgrounds and at a local garbage dump. As The Washington Post reported at the time, officials declared a state of emergency, many people were too scared to leave their homes or let their children play outside, and military personnel were being transported to work sites in special vehicles.
“CLIMATE CHANGE MAKING POLAR BEARS GO HUNGRY”
Reduction of the ice cover leads to a change in the feeding behavior of the animals. Unable to hunt seals, the bears are forced to walk hundreds of kilometers in search of food and most often find it near human settlements. Environmentalists, meanwhile, said polar bears are forced farther south to find food as the Arctic warms because of climate change.
POLAR BEARS ARE VULNERABLE SPECIES
Polar bears “are classified as a vulnerable species because of the ‘on going and potential loss of their sea ice habitat resulting from climate change,’ according to the World Wildlife Fund. The International Union for Conservation of Nature estimates that there are 22,000 to 31,000 polar bears worldwide.
Zeba Warsia – NMTV News.