The bears have become a major hazard on a highway linking the oil-rich cities of Khanty-Mansiysk to Tyumen.
Sometimes drivers are faced to wait long period unable to pass the bears hogging the highway in search of breakfast, lunch or dinner. Picture: youtube
There is a spot along the road, some 47km en route, where you're sure of a big surprise. It is sometimes impossible to pass because so many bears come for the daily picnic provided by passing motorists.
'Bears are attracted by the easy food, which the truck drivers share with them,' explained Sergey Zaitsev, head of the village of Gornopravdinsk, close to the place where the hungry animals come for their easy meals. We ourselves rarely drive past these places without presents.
'Just yesterday I threw cans of sweet condensed milk and tins meat to a bear with cubs!'
So many treats are thrown out of car windows that the bears seem to think they're in heaven and swagger around the highway in search of their next drive-by meal, oblivious to the dangers of speeding vehicles. Equally, say police, motorists are risking attack by hungry bears by winding down their windows and handing out all kinds of food not normally on the typical diet for brown bears.
There is a spot along the road, some 47km en route, where you're sure of a big surprise. It is sometimes impossible to pass because so many bears come for the daily picnic provided by passing motorists. Pictures: youtube
Sometimes drivers are faced to wait long period unable to pass the bears hogging the highway in search of breakfast, lunch or dinner.
'It often happens that the traffic police has to resolve the situation, for example, the police sounding their horns makes bears run way,' said Andrey Pitukhin.
He is head of the traffic police department in remote Uvatsky region, and currently this is his key priority. So far no bear attacks have been recorded, but it is a fear. Recently, however, a bear was hit by a motorist. Onlookers said the creature escaped with bruises and hurt pride into the forest.
'We urge drivers to be careful and not to speed up,' said the traffic police chief.
'Use the horn if bears appear, and whatever happens do not feed them.'
Judging by the queue of bears, and the human urge for close contact with wildlife, his edicts are falling on deaf ears.
Most car and truck drivers, it seems, faced with the four-legged pedestrian, throw out food for another bears' picnic. Locals have even started nicknaming the bears they meet at the 47km marker. The fastest cub is called Piston.
But the advice is clearly sensible. 'If an accident happens, do not leave your car and wait for the police to arrive', he urged.
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