Chukotka ready to welcome polar bears

Chukotka ready to welcome polar bears

24 October 2014

In the last days of September, walruses left their coastal rookery on Cape Kozhevnikov near the Chukotka village of Ryrkaypiy, and polar bears have begun visiting the area. This year, walruses came out to the shore, which is covered with large rocks and steep slopes and where many animals die when panicking. Members of the Polar Bear Patrol examined the coast by Cape Kozhevnikov and found the remains of 116 walruses, most of whom died after falling off a slope. Some of them were thrown ashore by a storm, landing next to residential buildings, which could pose a serious threat if polar bears show up.


Even now, two or three polar bears were seen near Cape Kozhevnikov. “In the west of Chukotka, depending on the ice conditions, polar bears can appear starting mid-November, and closer to New Year in the east, near the villages of Neshkan and Enurmino. One polar bear was wandering around Neshkan for the whole summer,” head of the Polar Bear Patrol Viktor Nikiforov said.


“The remains of walruses and gray whales will inevitably attract more bears,” he said. According to Nikiforov, patrol members are cleaning up the coastal area and removing the dead walruses to Cape Kozhevnikov, creating a place where polar bears could be warded off.


(Photo © Maxim Deminov)