Voices from Russia

Friday, 12 December 2014

Authorities to Move Polar Bear Hanging Around Oil Wells to Arctic island

Polar bears in Russia

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On Tuesday, a local official said a local official said that they’d tranquilise and airlift to an Arctic island a polar bear who hung around an oil well in the Nenets Autonomous Okrug. The three-year old bear kept oil well workers on their toes for six days, and even attempted to sneak into their canteen, but it wasn’t aggressive. On 20 November, they scared away the beast with a helicopter and moved it to an oil field 50 kilometres (31 miles) away from the oil workers’ compound. The official said, “There’s no link between Dolgy Island (where the airlift will leave the bear) and the continent, therefore, we hope that the bear will adapt there and will find food in his natural habitat”. However, Viktor Nikiforov, the chief of the Bear Patrol programme of the World Wildlife Fund Russia, said that the bear’s move was a temporary solution, “The bear won’t understand that humans were a threat”, adding that the beast could approach settlements again. The polar bear is on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The estimated worldwide polar bear population is 20,000-25,000, with 5,000-7,000 living along Russia’s Arctic coast. Since 1957, polar bear hunting has been illegal in Russia.

25 November 2014

ITAR-TASS

http://itar-tass.com/en/non-political/763653

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