Environment Ministry to ensure human safety, protect polar bears

Environment Ministry to ensure human safety, protect polar bears

2 September 2015

The protection of weather experts on Vaigach Island from polar bears must not endanger the animals, Minister Sergei Donskoi has said.


Igor Koshin, Governor of the Nenets Autonomous Area, promised to issue rubber bullets to people living in coastal settlements for protection against polar bears.


“It is an emergency situation when bears enter a weather station. We’ll do our best to protect both humans and animals. I’ve given instructions for the Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring (Rosgidromet) to analyse the situation, take the necessary measures and find out why people were left without protection. At the same time, the bears must not be killed, as they are a rare species from the Red Data Book. We must find a way to lure them away from the area, to frighten them off,” Sergei Donskoi said.


He said that bears often approached research stations and populated areas, and that the blame for this rests on people who disregard the specific conditions in the Arctic where garbage must not be left lying around because it attracts predators.


“This especially concerns food waste. Bears tend to come to such places on a regular basis. Last year, I had to step in to help remove a female bear from an oil producing station, taking her 40 kilometres away, but she has returned. Those who attract a bear in some way should remember that it’s very difficult to dissuade the animal,” the minister said.


(Photo © Vladimir Kipriyanov)