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Endangered Bears: Why polar bears are invading human settlements

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At least 52 polar bears have been spotted near the settlement of Belushya Guba on Russia’s Novaya Zemlya, as seen in CCTV footage from 21 January and released on Sunday.

Local authorities declared a state of emergency on 9 February after a series of attacks on people and cases of bears entering residential buildings.

Polar bears are classed as an endangered species in Russia and it is illegal to kill them. However, since the bears are no longer scared of the sirens used to ward them off, officials say that more drastic measures, including a cull, may be necessary.

With ice in the Arctic melting as a result of climate change, polar bears are forced to look for alternative food sources, including in human settlements.

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