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Russian scientists search for polar bear with black 'T-34' sprayed on its side

By The Siberian Times reporter
02 December 2019

Cruel joke can turn deadly for predator now too visible to both prey and poachers.

The black writing will most likely mean problems with hunting for the bear, said Anatoly Kochnev, senior researcher at Mammal Ecology laboratory at the Institute of Biological Problems of the North. Picture: Sergey Kavry 

A video of a polar bear walking with large black T-34 letters written all over its right side - name of the iconic Soviet tank - is going viral on the Russian web. 

The video was uploaded to a WhatsApp group for Chukotka indigenous people, said Sergey Kavry, who posted the file to his social media. 

It is not clear when the video was made or indeed where exactly it was filmed. 

Behind the camera chatter shows that two men who filmed the polar bear have never came across anything like that. 

‘Why is it so dirty?’ one of them asks as the recording begins. 

‘A spotty bear?’ answers another, before realising there was writing on the predator. 

We had to beep the rest of the recording due to the Russian expletives. 

T-34 polar bear, video courtesy Sergey Kavry

The black writing will most likely mean problems with hunting for the bear, said Anatoly Kochnev, senior researcher at the Mammal Ecology laboratory at the Institute of Biological Problems of the North. Hopefully when the animal swims the paint will wear off, he said. 

‘Given there was a bit of a turmoil with polar bears at Novaya Zemlya, perhaps they took some measures ahead of the upcoming winter by catching and immobilising bears. 

‘Scientists could not do this, it could have been somebody who ‘joked’ like this. 

'I flagged this to a researcher from the Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution of the North, and the Wrangel Nature Reserve at Chukotka’, Kochnev told Ria Novosti news agency. 

He also said that the accurate and clear writing suggested that the bear must have been sedated for quite a while.

Comments (6)

@Anonymous, Switzerland

"we human primates are amongst the most stupid species which exist”

Firstly: Then, assuming that you are a stupid human primate, why should I take any notice of what you write?

Secondly: We do have a Sixth Sense, I can't be the only human who, say, reacts to a situation without premeditation, is aware of an "atmosphere".

Thirdly: I have watched an elephant attempting to conceal itself behind a telephone pole. (Never seen a fat human try that.)
Fred Streeter, UK
09/12/2019 23:27
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and it was such a simple thing. but took them long to come forward with this explaination..
Morak Benedikt, Moscow
07/12/2019 22:16
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@John Shutz Anyone who has spent time in the wild understand what you wrote is very childish and ill informed. Could you please keep your some what immature opinions to some other place. Most people here care what happens to wild life and enjoy hearing about what is happing in this area of the world
Alex, sweden
05/12/2019 18:45
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there is an idiot around everywhere these days.
Morak Benedikt, Moscow
03/12/2019 10:18
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The significance of the letters T - 34; the name of the iconic soviet tank sprayed over this bear makes me assume that this could be a military trained bear. Or that it was kept captive for it's pelt and now has been set free wearing a dress code, (pelt code) as yes a sick joke making it clearly visible for all (unscrupulous) eyes. Beluga whales were trained to sniff out mines and old torpedos during the Cold War era. Belugas, dolphins and seals have also been trained for Military purposes more recently. Being a courageous wild animal whisperer of note myself, not sure that I'd get so close to give my big bear hugs to such a majestic predator such as a polar bear, unless it is accustomed to human contact! Hence my instinctive assumtion that this beautiful creature is a miltary trained or was a captive bear. No scientist would ever dress tag an animal in such a fashion, no pun intended! Goes to prove my deep conviction though; that we human primates are amongst the most stupid species which exist because we have lost all sense of instinct and sixth sense. Animals have instinctive intelligence and biosonar abilities which no human nor human made technology can beat. Even more so a reason that nature and it's creatures should be treated with the highest respect it deserves...
Anonymous, Switzerland
03/12/2019 02:57
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I'm a little surprised that Russia even has Animal Welfare organizations. We are in the middle of a great extinction of animal and plant life on earth, most of which is caused by human exploitation, habitat destruction, poaching, and climate change. I know there must be numerous caring people and animal scientists in Russia and my first statement is hopefully wrong. It's a shame in our own lifetimes many iconic animals will go extinct and I place a lot of the blame on China, Asian, and corrupt African countries, but also on the USA with the current "president" doing everything he can to stripe our most valued environmental protection laws and acts off the books. Anything President Obama was responsible for in this regard, the immature Trump has gone to all ends to erase his memory from the history books. But, he is too stupid to realize his actions are being recorded and he will go down as the most ignorant and corrupt president to ever occupy the office. This nightmare must end!
John Shutz, United States
02/12/2019 23:50
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