Polar bears settle next to a village in Chukotka

Polar bears settle next to a village in Chukotka

18 October 2017

Several polar bears have settled near the village of Ryrkaipiy.


The village is near Cape Kozhevnikov, a nature monument created to conserve the coastal breeding ground of the Pacific walruses, according to the Polar Bear programme’s website.


This autumn, up to 5,000 walruses congregated on the coastal rocks. This gathering attracted polar bears, and walruses panicked and rolled down the rocks to their death – several hundred of them died.


The have now left, but about 20 polar bears are staying near the village. They have enough food (lots of dead walruses), but some of the younger bears approach people’s houses out of curiosity. One of them recently pushed in a window, trying to get inside a house.


To rectify the situation, the Marine Mammals Research and Expedition Centre together with the Four Seasons company have organised patrol shifts to save the lives of the people and the endangered animals. Patrols watch the bears and keep them away from people’s houses.


“Only young bears aged three to five approach the houses, those who have seen people before,” comments polar bear expert Viktor Nikiforov. “It is enough to patrol and scare the bears away. When more snow falls, bears should be driven farther with snowmobiles.”


(Photo © Tatyana Minenko)