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Ian Frazier

25 polar bears plus cubs besiege village of Ryrkaypiy in Chukotka

By The Siberian Times reporter
07 November 2018

Locals use rubber bullets and signal rockets to scare predators and prevent attacks on residents.

All 760 locals are aware of the dangerous situation and take extreme care when moving around the place

At least twelve polar bears are inside the village, with some of them paying daily visits. 

The rest are within three kilometres away. 

‘We have to constantly scare the bears away with signal rockets, so far thanks to efforts of the Bear Patrol we manage well’, said acting head of Ryrkaypiy Yevgenia Malakhova. 

The large group of bears started to form a month ago when they came close to Cape Kozhevnikov. 

‘Now the bears moved close to the village, they also walk back and forth all along the shore line. The animals are irritated because they are ready to leave the area and start hunting in the deep sea, but ice is too thin’, said Malakhova. 

All 760 locals are aware of the dangerous situation and take extreme care when moving around the place. 

25 polar bears plus cubs besiege village of Ryrkaypiy in Chukotka


25 polar bears plus cubs besiege village of Ryrkaypiy in Chukotka


25 polar bears plus cubs besiege village of Ryrkaypiy in Chukotka
25 polar bears plus cubs besiege village of Ryrkaypiy in Chukotka


The local administration is setting up extra light posts to make sure every corner of Ryrkaypiy is lit up. 

Along with army servicemen, locals cleaned the shore from bodies of dead seals and move them further away from the village so that bears use more distant areas as their feeding points.

Tatiana Minenko, head of the Polar Bear Patrol said that so far the situation was under control. 

‘We can’t do anything because polar bears migration routes lie right next to our village. Our main job is to protect humans and bears from clashing. As soon as we get a call about another polar bear in the village, we rush there with signal rocket and guns with rubber bullets. 

‘Each time we try to scare a bear as much as possible that it doesn’t get back to the village and realises that humans are dangerous’, she said. 

Before the ice is frozen solid, the village can have as many as fifty polar bears as ‘neighbours’, she said. 

25 polar bears plus cubs besiege village of Ryrkaypiy in Chukotka


25 polar bears plus cubs besiege village of Ryrkaypiy in Chukotka


25 polar bears plus cubs besiege village of Ryrkaypiy in Chukotka


25 polar bears plus cubs besiege village of Ryrkaypiy in Chukotka


25 polar bears plus cubs besiege village of Ryrkaypiy in Chukotka


25 polar bears plus cubs besiege village of Ryrkaypiy in Chukotka
A polar bear wanders into the village at night and runs away scared by a signal rocket, and GVs of the village 


Ryrkaypiy is a small living settlement to the west of Cape Shmidta in Iultinsky District of Chukotka Autonomous Okrug.


Comments (4)

@Conrad Seitz - Yes, with climate change sea ice is freezing over later and later. Same thing in Hudson's Bay, Canada -
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/dec/20/churchill-canada-hudson-bay-no-snow-sea-ice-polar-bear
Ian G, Calgary, Canada
16/11/2018 07:38
1
0
You wrote that the bears are "irritated" because the ice is too thin-- do you mean that they expected it to be thick enough by this time of year that they could go out on it to hunt? I ask only because theoretically it seems like that is a sign that the climate is warming drastically there. here it "never changes." Just curious.
Conrad Seitz, Fresno CA USA
09/11/2018 02:49
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And I meant to add the Walruses are wow and awesome as well! You have the very special privilege of living within a precious eco-system.
Pamela K Tetarenko, United States
08/11/2018 19:13
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Thank you to everyone in Ryrkayply for taking care to co-exist safely and respectfully with the Polar Bears. I love nature and I realize how important it is to take the potential danger of a polar bear very seriously. Having said that, I hope people in your village also understand how very privileged you are to have the experience of these magnificent animals as annual "neighbors". Wow and awesome.
Pamela K Tetarenko, United States
08/11/2018 06:33
2
0
1

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