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'Siberia is so big, it’s almost more an idea than a place'
Ian Frazier

Now wild bears are encroaching Siberia's biggest city: locals told 'no selfies'

By The Siberian Times reporter
15 June 2016

Rare appearance of bear close to Novosibirsk leads to warnings to residents.

'The bear was of medium size. That is, an adult animal. The game wardens found its traces.' Picture: Maksim Prokopev

A growing trend is bears daring to come closer to people because of a shortage of their normal food in forests, a possible consequence of climate change. Rarely do they approach the major cities. 

But a Novosibirsk resident spotted a female bear in the suburb of Nizhnaya Eltsovka on 13 June. She called the police but by the time they came it was gone, although its traces were visible. 

Bear in Novosibirsk


Bear in Novosibirsk

'The animal headed towards Koltsovo scientific town. The search continues.' Pictures: Maksim Prokopev

Local emergencies official Yuri Peryazev said: 'The bear was of medium size. That is, an adult animal. The game wardens found its traces. The animal headed towards Koltsovo scientific town. The search continues.'

Locals were urged to be careful while walking in surrounding forests, or even better to delay such walks.

Novosibirsk GV

Wild bears are encroaching Siberia's biggest city, which has the population of 1.5 million. Picture: samovar.travel

The Civil Defence and Emergencies Department warned: 'If suddenly you see a wild animal, immediately call the police. Do not try to lure it, take a picture or chase it. The animal may attack.'

Perverzev added: 'No selfies with the bear. In no case should you scream. Do not make noise.  Do not throw the stones in its direction. It is not to provoke the animal.'

Selfie with the bear


Selfie with the bear


Selfie with the bear

Some Siberians do not hesitate to make selfies with bears, though it can be very dangerous. Pictures: Artur Murzahan, Miralok, kuka777888

Bears are rare in Novosibirsk region, and even more unusual in the city, which has a population of around 1.5 million and is Russia's third largest city. The region is larger in size than Uraguay, Tunisia and Bangladesh. 

If caught, the bear will be tranquillised and released far from the city or possibly sent to Novosibirsk Zoo. 

Comments (4)

We have black and brown bears in Anchorage and there are more and more homes being built in bear habitat. Being cautious and using common sense like not leaving trash out helps a lot, but unfortunately some people are not overly bright and are surprised when bears tear into trash or bird feeders. Encroachment into their habitat will of course lead to more run-ins. I love living where we have interactions with the wildlife and I like to read about other places that are similar.
Brian Erdrich, Anchorage, Alaska, USA
23/06/2016 04:45
2
0
Hi Wayne, I agree bears are incredibly fast and awestrikenly quiet as you witnessed yourself. My sister and I had one seemingly materialize out of nowhere and dart between us in a blink of an eye. We just stood looking at each other for a few seconds wondering if we had just dreamed the moment or not but we both saw and felt "the Flash" brush by. Bears are far more agile than people may realize as well.
Pamela Tetarenko, League City, USA
18/06/2016 07:24
2
0
I startled a bear in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and it ran away so fast I was stunned by its quickness. The bear ran about 30 meters almost instantly and made not a sound as it ran over pine needles. I have never seen anything like this in a nature film. I now know that if a bear charged anyone they would not hear it coming and might even see it. If they did see it they would only have about one second to react - much too late.
Wayne, Los Angeles, California
17/06/2016 23:59
3
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Novosibirsk looks like a beautiful, elegant and wonderfully clean city. Growing up in the Rocky Mountains of Western Canada, I had the privilege and opportunity to have a few close encounters with bears. It is very important to respect nature certainly but I also understand how hard it is to not reach out and try to scratch them behind their ears...:-). At least one of the ones I met loved apples and was helping himself to the big box under our RV.
Pamela Tetarenko, League City, USA
17/06/2016 04:33
3
1
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