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Bear invasion: state of emergency as hungry predators seek food in towns and villages

By The Siberian Times reporter
29 July 2016

Destruction of natural habitat by forest fires 'explains bears causing terror in residential areas'.

Forest fires over a number of years has destroyed the natural habitat of bears, forcing them to seek food closer to residential settlements in one of the msot sparsely populated regions of the world. Picture: NVK Sakha

A state of emergency was declared in Khorula village in Yakutia - the largest region in Russia, also known as the Sakha Republic - after a schoolboy was ambushed by a bear as he made his way home from a hayfield. He survived 'by a miracle' and reported the attack.

Attacks by hungry bears on a colt have left villagers scared to go into the forest. Separately, a horse was seriously injured by a bear. 

They venture into their fields only in groups, for safety. 

Acorss the region, some 40 brown bears have been shot. Around 20 of these were in Aldan and Neryungri districts. In Neryungri district, a bear with two cubs held local coal miners hostage. They had to climb onto the roof of their truck, fearful of an attack by the hungry bears. Fortunately, they survived. 

Bear invasion: state of emergency as hungry predators seek food in towns and villages


Bear invasion: state of emergency as hungry predators seek food in towns and villages


Bear invasion: state of emergency as hungry predators seek food in towns and villages


Bear invasion: state of emergency as hungry predators seek food in towns and villages


Bear invasion: state of emergency as hungry predators seek food in towns and villages
State of emergency as hungry predators seek food in towns and villages. Pictures: Sakha24


In Aldan district, hunters were forced to shoot a bear that came too close to  the 'Taiga' village shop  in Solnechny village.

The bears have been searching rubbish bins on the edge of the village.

Local reports indicate there are 'daily' attacks on many villages by the predators, hungry for food. 

Andrey S. explained: 'We managed to kill one bear, and the second one ran away to the forest. The predators often come to rubbish bins and dumps. They appear in the villages.' 

Bear invasion: state of emergency as hungry predators seek food in towns and villages
Destruction of natural habitat by forest fires 'explains bears causing terror in residential areas'. Picture: NVK Sakha


But it is not only villages. For the first time in years, a bear has been sighted scavenging for food in a suburb of Yakutsk, the regional capital. 

A key reason, say experts, is the cumulative impact of wildfires. 

Climate change is seen as leading to warmer summers in northern regions, and the dry foliage leads of fast-spreading fires. This, in turn, means the destruction of vast areas of natural habitat for bears, forcing them to seek food near to people who - in the past - they would shun.

Nikolay Nikolaev, a senior official responsible for the land, property and agriculture administration in Nyurbinsky district, made clear the problem was not restricted to  this year's dry weather.

Forest fires over a number of years has destroyed the natural habitat of bears, forcing them to seek food closer to residential settlements in one of the msot sparsely populated regions of the world. 

Comments (2)

what works good here, is to have guided legal hunts, permits and everything, have 400 extra bears, issue 150 licenses, this will create a skilled work force, and strong man style tourism, a guided hunt on horseback by educated local, knowing where trophy size bear are is awesome ! , mountain slopes with good berries, and river with good salmon are the best areas
walking speed, Vancouver Canada
12/10/2016 07:16
0
0
Please do not kill your bears! I know it is a big problem but there are other long term measures that one can do to mitigate this problem.
Matthew Tabone, Malta
04/08/2016 00:13
8
2
1

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