Suspected poacher faces three years in prison

Suspected poacher faces three years in prison

31 December 2014

A Vorkuta man, charged with killing a polar bear on Vaigach Island in the Nenets Autonomous Area, will soon stand trial. He faces a prison term of up to three years and a fine of up to one million roubles, the press service of the area police department’s investigation division said.


In April 2014, a 38-year-old man shot a polar bear, skinned it, cut off its paws and escaped. A group of experts from the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Russia and the Marine Mammals Council found the dead animal’s remains.


The crime has caused over 300,000 roubles in damages to the state, and his case has been submitted to court, the press service noted. The investigators cooperated closely with officers from the Economic Security and Anti-Corruption Department in the Nenets Autonomous Area and collected evidence of the suspect’s guilt.


Viktor Nikiforov, the head of the WWF’s Polar Bear Patrol programme, congratulated police from the Nenets Autonomous Area on taking the case to court. The last time a court tried a polar bear poacher was in 2007 when two men from the town of Cape Schmidt shot and killed three polar bears and were given suspended sentences. However, it is difficult to travel and hunt alone in these remote and sparsely populated regions, the expert added.