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Don’t feed the lost polar bear! warn Russian experts as rescue poised to begin

By Svetlana Skarbo
19 June 2019

The animal is pictured at Norilsk garbage dump, a police convoy following its every move.

 'Ideally our purpose would be to bring this precious animal back to nature.' Picture: Severny Gorod

Our reports about the lost Siberian polar bear, suspected of walking 1,500 km in the wrong direction have gone around the world.

Now a team of two leading specialists from Krasnoyarsk Royev Ruchei zoo - which currently cares for four polar bears- landed in Norilsk following reports about a hungry polar bear wandering its streets. 

Animal experts Georgy Belyanin and Oleg Kokorev will follow the animal for some time for visual examination, and then sedate it for a set of laboratory tests.

‘Our experts have been working with polar bears for years, and know what a healthy animal should be like.

'They will do a series of test to determinate the best strategy for the animal’s future’, said Royev Ruchei press secretary Ekaterina Mikhailova. 

'It is too soon to say anything before we get results of medical examination, but ideally our purpose would be to bring this precious animal back to nature.'

It is still unclear how the polar bear got so far inland and away from its natural habitat on shores of the Arctic ocean. 

polar bear Norilsk


polar bear Norilsk


polar bear Norilsk
The animal was seen going through one of the outdoor Norilsk rubbish dumps, with several police cars patrolling its moves. Pictures: Anastasia Chvanova, Evgeny Poluyanov, Severny Gorod


Last time a polar bear was seen that far south was in 1977.

‘There must be issues polar bears have with fighting for hunting territory as ice continues to melt’, said Royev Ruchei press-secretary Ekaterina Mikhailova. 

‘Right now our top priority after sorting any potential health issues would be to make sure that the bear is moved as far away as possible from the city.' 

norilsk bear


norilsk bear


norilsk bear


norilsk bear

‘There must be issues polar bears have with fighting for hunting territory as ice continues to melt’. Pictures: Severny Gorod, Pro Norilsk

‘We urge anyone who sees the animal NOT to feed it, and not to get close.’

Meanwhile the animal was seen going through one of the outdoor Norilsk rubbish dumps, with several police cars patrolling its moves.

The residents of Norilsk were asked to stay away from the polar bear, which could suddenly become aggressive.

Despite the warning, many locals were seen going on some kind of ‘selfie hunting’ with the polar bear. 

People stand too close to the bear


People watching the bear


People watching the bear


People watching the bear


People watching the bear


polar bear Norilsk


polar bear Norilsk

‘We urge anyone who sees the animal NOT to feed it, and not to get close.’ Pictures: Severny Gorod, Evgeny Poluyanov

‘I was stunned to see how people were going as close as 30 metres to make a selfie with the bear!

'Some were bringing children with them, and together with them parents were leaving cars and walking towards the bear. All for the sake of selfie… I was left speechless’, said Atryom Smirnov, cameraman for a local TV station. 

The Siberian Times will continue following the story and will post updates on both the website and our social media.


Comments (1)

At least the experts should feed the bear a little...

There aren't fines for public reckless behavior? Further, there should be fines against cruelty.
I-need-a-Russian-name, St. Petersburg
19/06/2019 17:39
8
2
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