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200 children besieged by brown bears in Yakutia

By 0 and 0 and 0
28 July 2018


The wily animal doesn’t enter the fenced territory, but sends the cubs to collect easy food. 

A mother bear with two cubs - a one year old and a cub born this year - has camped her family right next to the children’s base, attracted by smell from kitchen and rubbish bins. 

The animals came to the camp two weeks ago and so far refuse to leave the area. 

The cubs have been seen stealing throwaway food from bins in the kitchen area.

The mother circles around the camp, but has not herself entered the territory. 

Currently there are 200 children at the camp, aged from 7 to 15.

Some children are under foster care, others usually attend a disability rehabilitation centre. 

The bear family first prowled around the town of Tommot, some 400 km southwest of the regional capital city Yakutsk. 

Mother bear with cubs

A mother bear with two cubs - a one year old and a cub born this year - has camped her family right next to the children’s base. Stock picture

They were hunting for food but were scared scared by preventive shooting in the air. 

The mother with the cubs swam across the Aldan River and settled next to the children’s camp Bereg Druzhby (The Shore of Friendship). 

An 83 years old hunter was called to protect the camp, but so far he failed to spot the mother bear to scare her away. 

The wily animal doesn’t enter the fenced territory, but sends the cubs to collect easy food. 

The hunter said that he won’t hurt or upset the cubs - not to anger their mother. 

Worried parents said that they were concerned by the age of the hunter, and went to journalists to seek more attention to the story. 

Igor Sakhno, deputy head of Aldan district who is in charge of the camp, said: ‘I was told about the bears.

‘The camp’s director is dealing with it. 

‘We informed everyone in the camp and around it, there is nothing to be scared about.’

Asked if he was being complacent over the danger, he replied: ‘There have always been bears here. 

‘I don’t remember a single summer without them roaming around… 

Bereg Druzhby camp

Bereg Druzhby camp

Bereg Druzhby (The Shore of Friendship) children camp. 

‘They’ve always been going to rubbish sites. 

‘And this summer they went through the rubbish bins. 

‘I don’t think there is something big to worry about there.’

He was confident the hunter could cope with the bears. 

Camp director Alexander Mekhedov said: ‘I have a specialist hunter with a license to shoot brown bear. 

‘He is 83 years old, but he is a specialist. 

‘He spent all night long looking out for them last night. 

‘It’s good that he did, as two brown bears - a one year old and a cub born this year - keep roaming the camp. 

‘It is the same bear family that has been walking around Tommot.’

He said the cubs were not directly threatening the children.

‘The cubs don’t walk about the whole camp site, they just run towards the kitchen area, quickly grab bags with rubbish and run away. 

‘They are easy to shoot, but we won’t do it. 

Bereg Druzhby camp

Bereg Druzhby camp

Bereg Druzhby camp

Mother-bear and her cubs swam across Aldan river and settled next to the camp.

‘The territory is properly fenced, the animals won’t break through. 

There is no need to start evacuation, everything is under control.’ 

Now more hunters are on patrol after the local media took up the came, according to some later reports. 

Head of the Aldan district Severin Pozdnyakov told TASS news agency: ‘There are bear traps set all around the camp, four hunters are on 24/7 patrol. 

‘We will not kill bears unless there is direct threat. 

‘This is not an unusual situation for us. 

‘We live in the taiga, this is part of our life.’

Foresters in Yakutia, Khabarovsk region and Kamchatka reported more bears coming close to people this year.

Many migrate because of a spate of wildfires. 

This year authorities of Yakutia issued 81 licenses to kill brown bears.

Comments (8)

Very nice to see the situation approached calmly and understanding that the bears only want an easy meal. We have people leave trash outside their homes here, then panic when a bear is eating trash. Many get shot here for defense of life or property when it is not justified. As said in the article- they live in the Taiga so expect it. I wish that attitude was contagious.
Brian Erdrich, Anchorage, Alaska
20/08/2018 00:38
What a wonderful opportunity children have in your camp so embraced by forests and waters.
I see the bears may be scary, but from what your story reveals, the children are well protected from wandering bears.

I've seen a video once, maybe it's still on the net, where Russian Men chased down a brown bear, captured it, and took it somewhere else. They did all this with naked hands. I was very impressed by both the bravery of the men, as well as their respect for wild life in your part of the world.

Unfortunately, in our part of the world I rarely see such respect and courage among our people when confronted by wild bears. It happens, but it's very rare.

Your people, your children, and your wildlife are truly lucky for showing such mutual respect for all denizens of your forests: both humans and wildlife.
Steve Edward, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
14/08/2018 05:26
How about we - people learn how to not leave trash around to attract animals who are in their natural habitat. Fires and climate change force wild animals to search for food and instead of trying to solve for this issue - we are acting like it's them who's on our territory.
E, Amur region
01/08/2018 00:02
Lucy a hungry and protective mother bear with 2 cubs will not be worried about you how much you scream and shout. she just will think, what a ncie piece of meat for me and my kids...
Benedikt MORAK, Moscow
31/07/2018 11:15
This looks like a beautiful summer camp and I hope all of the children are enjoying themselves. I agree with the advice that Benedikt and Lucy mention and also thank you to everyone in the area for understanding the natural inhabitants of the Taiga you are so fortunate to be able to live among. Also, age often has little to do with skills and sharpness of mind so I have no doubt the best person to watch over the whole situation is doing so.
Pamela K Tetarenko, League City, USA
31/07/2018 00:57
Wildlife is great! Why are people so out of touch with nature, these days? Take the children for a walk in the woods. I would have loved that, as a child! Many people go for holidays to walk in nature, and to see bears. They say just to be noisy, so the bears hear you coming. They dont want to be surprised.
Lucy Kelly, London, United Kingdom
30/07/2018 00:06
can't really blame the bears. they do what comes naturally. looking for food. territory should be kept clean spotless, trash SECURILY stored and removed EVERY day. then it will not smell. and if for whatever reason someone wants to feed the bears, out of the goodness of his heart, do it far away from the camp. so the bears will not get any ideas. it is WE who are encroaching on their territory, it is WE who take away their ability to forage for food. so, it is also WE who should be made responsible to fix it. that does NOT mean just to shoot the bears.
Benedikt MORAK, Moscow
29/07/2018 12:10
The wily animal doesn’t enter the fenced territory, but sends the cubs to collect easy food.
——Bears know the law?!!!(:-))
姚剑申, 巨鹿/中国
29/07/2018 07:07

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