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A pack of 14 brown bears filmed wondering outside a village in Magadan region

By The Siberian Times reporter
20 August 2019

The recording comes as several people get killed and wounded in recent 'worst-ever' bear attacks.

A collage of two screen grabs shows a pack of 14 brown bears filmed surrounding a truck in Magadan region 

Reports about bears becoming extremely active in searching for food next to towns and villages - and attacking people in the process - come from many areas of Siberia and the Far East of Russia. 

This footage with an unusually large group of animals prowling around the village of  Takhtoyamsk in Magadan region, on shore of the Sea of Okhotsk, appears to be the most peaceful of all encounters.

But elsewhere this was not the case, and even here it could turn nasty.

Experts say the number of bear attacks on humans this year is 'unprecedented'. 

There were three such attacks within the last week, with two men killed in Kamchatka and Khabarovsk region, and a young woman wounded in Chukotka.

A pack of 14 brown bears next to a truck in Magadan region

In the first in years bear attack in Russia’s easternmost territory, Chukotka, a young woman bitten in her neck and arms by a bear cub.

She was rescued by a male friend who stabbed the bear in an eye with a knife which scared away the predator.

‘The young woman wore two hoodies which is what saved her life as her neck got very nearly bitten through,’ said doctor Natalya Vlasova who treated the victim at Ust-Belaya hospital.

Two bears were shot in Kamchatka peninsula, with remains of a 41 year old man found inside them. 

Hours before that the body of the missing resident of the regional capital Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky was reported lying on the sea shore outside he city. 

People are killed and wounded in recent 'worst-ever' bear attacks, as one governor says 62 predators shot for posing human threat


People are killed and wounded in recent 'worst-ever' bear attacks, as one governor says 62 predators shot for posing human threat


People are killed and wounded in recent 'worst-ever' bear attacks, as one governor says 62 predators shot for posing human threat


People are killed and wounded in recent 'worst-ever' bear attacks, as one governor says 62 predators shot for posing human threat

Brown bears seen running across streets and in city centres of Magadan and Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, with a large brownn bear pictured at a graveyard in Komsomolsk-on-Amur


Less than a week ago a locally-renowned 66-year-old railway builder was killed by a bear while picking mushrooms in Khabarovsk region. 

Meanwhile, a three year old brown bear scared residents of Magadan after audaciously appearing on a central street. 

‘Even the old-timers don’t remember bears walking right into the centre of the city. This is an extraordinary situation’, said Vadim Uzhvenko from Animal Welfare of Magadan region. 

The bear was later shot due to aggressive behaviour.

There were several reports of  bears raiding the canteens of shift workers in Kamchatka, Amur region, Yakutia and Khabarovsk region, as well as at least two cases of brown bears raiding graveyards. In one case a predator dug up a body of a recently buried man.

People are killed and wounded in recent 'worst-ever' bear attacks, as one governor says 62 predators shot for posing human threat


People are killed and wounded in recent 'worst-ever' bear attacks, as one governor says 62 predators shot for posing human threat


People are killed and wounded in recent 'worst-ever' bear attacks, as one governor says 62 predators shot for posing human threat


People are killed and wounded in recent 'worst-ever' bear attacks, as one governor says 62 predators shot for posing human threat
62 brown bears had to be shot in Kamchatka region alone since beginning of the year


Even in the ‘Brown Bears Paradise’, the Kronotsky nature reserve in Kamchatka, which looks after one of the world’s largest population of the animals there was a near-deadly situation when a large beast ran at a group of rangers and tourists. 

A popular tourist walk which normally observes bear feeding grounds had to be shut. 

The resort inspectors said that the salmon spawning is delayed this year, with dozens of bears gathering at what are usually abundant rivers and lakes. 

People are killed and wounded in recent 'worst-ever' bear attacks, as one governor says 62 predators shot for posing human threat


People are killed and wounded in recent 'worst-ever' bear attacks, as one governor says 62 predators shot for posing human threat


People are killed and wounded in recent 'worst-ever' bear attacks, as one governor says 62 predators shot for posing human threat
Hungry brown bears are pictured waiting for salmon to arrive at yet empty rivers of the Kamchatka peninsula. Pictures: Liana Varavskaya


The governor of Kamchatka region Vladimir Ilyukhin said that 62 permits to shoot bears have been granted this year - and all used. 

In all cases the bears posed a threat to humans. 

‘There are hunters who deal with shooting the animals who have reached human settlements and are a threat to the safety of residents,’ he said.

There were even cases in his capital city Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, with one bear repeatedly gaining access to the airport. 

‘Of course if human life is in danger, all necessary measures are taken in order to scare the beast away from the settlement or to kill him,’ said the governor. 

‘This year 62 hunting licences were issued, and all of them got used. 

‘All necessary actions to regulate the number of animals are being performed.’

A brown bear scares residents of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky after running through its central square

Sergey Vakhrin, 65, who spent all his life in the Kamchatka Peninsula said that he has never witnessed this number of attacks on humans.

‘I was born and raised in the peninsula have never heard that a hungry bear can attack a man,’ he said.

‘Yes, a wounded animal can attack while fighting for life, but now? 

‘What changed now since 1998 is that authorities then allowed locals to fish without any limits. 

‘My other feeling is that for 20 years we have been growing a population of bears who has no fear of humans.’ 

Comments (3)

I just returned from Kamchatka where I have spent much time over the past 15 years working mainly on bear conservation...it is known that the unlimited and unpoliced poaching of salmon has been pushing bears into the citis where they look for alternative food...this alternative food they find in the form of literally hundreds of unfenced garbage dumps, which often contain rotting fish carcasses making the situation even worse...bears are simply trying to survive...it's a 100% human caused problem...we created it and we can solve!
Reno Sommerhalder, Banff, Canada
29/08/2019 11:41
3
1
Between the early and late 1980`s.We had an unusually large population of bears on the west coast.We could not go to the outhouse without bringing a rifle.
Since than,there have been bear hunting guides.The population since than has been normal.They seem to be trained to go away from humans now.There are times I do not bring any weapon with me no matter where I go in the country.I aproach them slow on a 4-wheeler,they mosey on out of the way.
James, Alaska
21/08/2019 02:55
8
0
We take their forests, we take their food, we shoot them for fun, they are slaughtered for trophies and medicine. Sad! Very sad!
Paul Gilbert, Canada
20/08/2019 21:38
8
2
1

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