New mobile home for Polar Bear Patrol

New mobile home for Polar Bear Patrol

28 April 2015

The participants in the Polar Bear Patrol project have long been planning to set up a temporary mobile home (balok) on Leontyev Island, where female bears come ashore every year and make winter dens.


In April, when bear patrol teams inspect the Medvezhyi Islands archipelago, it’s freezing and windy there, with no place to take cover from snowstorms and the nearest shelter as far as 40 kilometres away. All that severely complicates the patrol’s work.


“With the help of our friends, we bought a good balok in a district centre,” Viktor Nikiforov, head of the WWF Polar Bear Patrol project, told reporters. “It’s symbolic that the shelter was owned by Grigory Velvin’s widow. He was the one who proposed inspections on the Medvezhyi Islands when he headed the Nizhnekolymsky Wildlife Protection Inspectorate. He took an active part in the project and did all he could to assist polar bear protection.”


“The house has been put up already and will wait for us till next spring. In the meantime, we stocked up on firewood and boarded up the windows to prevent bears from smashing them,” Viktor Nikiforov said.


(Photo © Viktor Nikiforov)