Police investigate polar bear poaching incident on Vaigach Island

Police investigate polar bear poaching incident on Vaigach Island

11 August 2014

In late April 2014, WWF experts, together with a border service officer, found two polar bears dead on Vaigach Island during a helicopter raid.


According to the Russian Internal Affairs Ministry’s Directorate for the Nenets Autonomous Area, police identified the location of the man who allegedly shot one of the bears. The man, a Vorkuta resident, who was born in 1976, confessed to the crime. During the search operation, police confiscated a polar bear skin and a gun with shells, which proved to be the same as the ones found at the crime site. The case is currently being investigated.


“We can thank the police of the Nenets Autonomous Area for managing to efficient work in opening the poaching case,” Head of the WWF Bear Patrol project Viktor Nikiforov said. “During the April raid, we, together with experts from the Council for Marine Mammals, collected biological samples of the dead animals. The results of the genetic test are available now, so we will be able to tell whether the confiscated skin belongs to the polar bear killed on Vaigach Island or not. I hope that the poachers responsible for the rare Red Data Book animal’s death will be punished soon.”


(Photos © by Viktor Nikiforov/Press Centre of the Internal Affairs Ministry in the Nenets Autonomous Area)