Evidence of polar bear poaching discovered on Vaygach Island

Evidence of polar bear poaching discovered on Vaygach Island

28 April 2014

On 25-27 April, a polar bear research expedition was held on Vaygach Island. Participants included experts from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the Marine Mammal Council, the National Research Institute for Environmental Protection, and a member of the Russian Federal Security Service’s border service. The very the first day of the expedition turned up evidence of the poaching of two polar bears. The border service officer found bear meat in a deserted building at the Fyodorov Meteorology Station, and two hours later the body of a polar bear was spotted from a helicopter. An examination concluded that the polar bear had been shot and killed just a few hours before its body was found. Tracks from two snowmobiles were identified at the site.


“It should be noted that the polar bear is listed in Russia’s Red Data Book,” said Viktor Nikiforov, head of the WWF Polar Bear Patrol project. “Also, penalties have been increased for poaching, capturing and transporting polar bears. Thanks to our work with the border service, we managed to uncover two cases of poaching in one day. We hope that the poachers will be found and punished soon.”


(Photos © by Viktor Nikiforov)

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