Polar bears spotted on Vaigach Island

Polar bears spotted on Vaigach Island

26 July 2016

With the onset of the summer season, polar bears began to appear on Vaigach Island. In June, they were repeatedly spotted by local residents living in hunting cabins in the northwestern part of the island. A three-year-old bear approached a cabin on the Promyslovaya Bay and an adult bear was several kilometres away. Judging by their droppings, the animals fed solely on eider-duck and brant-goose eggs.


In July, the predators moved south and approached a hut on Bolshoi Tsinkovy Island. Polar bears and their tracks were repeatedly seen on the Lyamchin Peninsula as well.


“At the moment, there are two or three Polar bears on the island. An encounter with them poses a danger both for locals and for tourists visiting the area,” said Viktor Nikiforov, head of Russia’s Polar Bear Patrol. “Bears have not yet turned up near the village of Varnek in the south of Vaigach, but it is important to exercise caution to avoid conflict and the possibility of illegal killing.”


By now, law enforcement agencies in the Nenets Autonomous Area have expanded their investigation into the poaching of Polar bears on Vaigach in 2015 and transferred to court criminal cases on charges of the illegal killing of bears and the possession of bear hides. According to Nikiforov, a trial will open in the near future.


(Photo © Viktor Nikiforov/Vladimir Kipriyanov)