What should you do if you encounter a polar bear?

What should you do if you encounter a polar bear?

29 May 2017

Autumn 2016 was a difficult time for reindeer herders on Yakutia’s Arctic coast. Several teams from the Nizhnekolymsky District saw polar bears walk deep into the tundra. The predators came close to the herds, which repeatedly caused conflicts between the herders and the rare animals listed in the Russian Red Data Book.


At the herders’ request, Moscow experts together with Yakutia’s Ministry of Environmental Protection developed instructions on polar bear safety for reindeer herders.


A briefing was held on polar bear safety and brochures with instructions on bear hazing were handed out at a working meeting of the representatives of the Turvaaurgin and Nyutengli communities in the village of Chersky.


“It is very important to teach reindeer herders polar bear safety not only in Yakutia, but in other Arctic regions of Russia,” said Viktor Nikiforov, an expert in polar bear conservation. “People also encounter these predators in Yamal, Chukotka and the Nenets Autonomous Area.”


(Photo © Ruslan Sleptsov)