Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Russian Bears Searching Remote Villages for Food

00 bear in a tree. 28.08.13

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Wildlife authorities in some of Russia’s more remote and wild regions warn residents to stay inside after dark after several encounters with wild animals resulted in attacks on humans, livestock, and guard dogs. Authorities in areas such as Kamchatka and Bashkiria said that they shoot aggressive animals, even from the air. The situation worsened with the arrival of the cold season. Hungry predators search for food as their resources in the forest become increasingly difficult to find, so, the animals search for food in the villages. In Kamchatka this year, authorities recorded a large number of anomalous bears that didn’t go into winter hibernation. So far, the bears killed three people and seriously injured two more.

However, the bears’ main target is livestock and poultry. Local scientists and hunters said that they believed that the bears are unable to hibernate because they’re still hungry. This year, rivers in Kamchatka had few fish, and bears had a hard time finding enough berries in the forests. Many predators didn’t have time to store up fat; now, they roam in search of food, even near settlements. Kamchatka Krai introduced a special decree… the authorities decided to shoot all bears not in “voluntary” winter sleep. They’ve already killed 140 predators. In Bashkiria in mid-October, a bear attacked and killed a mushroom collector.

Whilst bears remain a problem, some authorities consider wolves to be a greater threat. Primarily, their victims are pet dogs in yards. Usually, dogs are on a leash, so, they can’t fight the wolves. In the Komi Republic, wolves bit three pet dogs. In Kaliningrad Oblast, wolves ate 35 sheep and 20 cows. In Tuva, there were 15 attacks by wolves on livestock. In Lugansk Oblast, wolves tore up nine sheep. According to locals, this is the first case where predators attacked domestic animals within inhabited areas. In areas where wolf attacks are random, local authorities don’t issue formal permits for killing predators. They tell frightened residents to follow simple safety precautions. Don’t go out at night, don’t let children out unaccompanied, lock pet dogs inside the house, and call the authorities if you encounter a wild animal. Bears, unlike wolves, rarely go to towns, so, precautions to follow in regards to them are different. Don’t go into the woods alone, and if you walk in the woods, talk loudly, or even sing, so that the animals can hear you. If you see a bear, don’t make any sudden movements; move away slowly and smoothly. If a bear attacks, it’s better to fall on the ground and pretend to be dead. Chances of escaping from a bear or hiding in a tree are negligible.

However, there are regions where these recommendations aren’t enough. If the number of dangerous animals exceeds established standards, one must reduce their number by force. By law, killing wild animals is punishable by fines from 2,000 to 5,000 Roubles (61-153 USD. 64-162 CAD. 67-169 AUD. 44-110 Euros. 37-93 UK Pounds). The Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment does issue permits for “prey hunting resources in order to regulate herd numbers”. The police or hunters can do the shooting. Under federal law, you can only kill wolves with a gun… the law strictly forbids using traps and poisons. For these purposes, the government allots separate funds for the regions. For example, in Yakutia, the struggle with wolves will cost 32 million Roubles (976,000 USD. 1.034 million CAD. 1.078 million AUD. 708,000 Euros. 596,000 UK Pounds). Besides guns, local authorities want to use light aircraft to shoot wolves.

However, according to Nikolai Vyshegorodskih, the Head of Protection and Use of Wildlife, Aquatic Biological Resources, and Environmental Safety of Oryol Oblast, regulating wolf populations by violent means is necessary only in exceptional cases. He said, “Wild wolves attacking humans is extremely rare. Sixty percent of the diet of these animals is rats and other small animals. They’re afraid of people”. In his view, wolves play an important role in the food chain, saying, “Let’s take, for instance, Oryol Oblast. Once wolves come here, then, it sharply reduces the number of stray dogs, cats, and rabid foxes. Sometimes, they eat pet dogs. However, from the viewpoint of natural selection, it’s a normal process. Dogs are socially adapted to people and poorly adapted to life in nature, so, a stronger link in the food chain kills them… the wolf, and in the Far East, it’s the tiger”. Vyshegorodskih noted that as soon as a territory becomes free of wolves, rats, foxes, and wild dogs take their place, which assume the role of predator, and attack humans. He said, “In this situation, wolves are rather good”.

7 December 2013

Anastasia Maltseva

Russia Behind the Headlines

http://rbth.ru/society/2013/12/07/russian_bears_searching_remote_villages_for_food_32359.html

Monday, 14 October 2013

14 October 2013. RIA-Novosti Presents… Our “Smaller Brothers”… Братья наши меньшие

00 Little Brothers 01. Dog. Vancouver BC. 14.10.13

Parishioners at a church in Vancouver BC CANADA can attend services with their pets. Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord! Praise ye the Lord!

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00 Little Brothers 02. Elephant. Africa. 14.10.13

The governments of Kenya and Tanzania are holding a joint census of elephants and other large mammals. Are the tickbirds the census-takers? Perspirin’ minds wanna know…

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00 Little Brothers 03. Lions. Africa. Kenya. 14.10.13

Lions bagging zee’s at a Kenya Wildlife Service conservation centre.

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00 Little Brothers 04. Crested porcupine. Szeged HUNGARY. 14.10.13

A three-week-old crested porcupine riding on its mother’s back at a zoo in Szeged (Szeged DIstrict. Csongrád County. Dél-Alföld Region) HUNGARY.

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00 Little Brothers 05. Yellow baboons. Antwerp Zoo BELGIUM. 14.10.13

Yellow baboons chillin’ at the Antwerp Zoo in Anvers/Antwerpen (Arrondissement Antwerpen. Province AntwerpenFlanders Region) BELGIUM.

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00 Little Brothers 06. white lion cub. Belgrade Zoo. SERBIA. 14.10.13

A tiny white lion cub was born at the Belgrade Zoo in Belgrade (Belgrade Municipal OkrugSERBIA. The little guy doesn’t have a name yet.

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00 Little Brothers 07. stork. Strasbourg Zoo. FRANCE. 14.10.13

A stork struttin’ his stuff at the Le parc de l’Orangerie Zoo in Strasbourg (Arrondissement Strasbourg-Ville. Département Bas-Rhin. Région AlsaceFRANCE.

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00 Little Brothers 08. spectacled bear. Antwerp BELGIUM. 14.10.13

A spectacled bear checkin’ out the photog at a zoological centre in Anvers/Antwerpen Belgium.

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13 October 2013

RIA-Novosti

http://en.ria.ru/photolents/20131013/184070143_8/Lion-cub-and-other-animal-news.html

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Tourists Spend Night on Tree Escaping Bear in Montenegro

01 bear at table

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Local news website CdM reported that a man from Kazakhstan and a woman from the Ukraine, who were both on a bicycle tour across south Montenegro, were forced to spent a night in a tree saving to escape from a bear. On Thursday, police and residents of Virpazar went on a search and rescue mission after the two tourists used to their mobile to call a friend, saying that they were in a tree in a nearby forest hiding from a bear. The search lasted for several hours, complicated by the fact that the tourists’ mobile went dead, then, the cops decided to take a break. Ultimately, both travellers emerged safe and unhurt in Vilpazar on their bicycles. The website added that the Montenegrin government strongly advised tourists against travelling without a local guide in remote areas.

30 August 2013

RIA-Novosti

http://en.ria.ru/world/20130830/183052645/Tourists-Spend-Night-on-Tree-in-Montenegro-Escaping-Bear.html

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Serbian Shepherd Strangled Brown Bear Barehanded

04a Russian bear

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Local television reported that a 48-year-old shepherd from the village of Vrba in southeast Srpska Bosna strangled a brown bear barehanded after the wild animal attacked him. Blažo Grković was tending a flock of sheep on a meadow in Volljak, when the bear assaulted him. The shepherd had a small axe with him, but he had no chance of using it. Grković told journalists, “At one moment, the bear grasped my hand and I choked it by the throat with the other hand until the animal fell down”, adding that he remembered neither the details of the struggle, nor how long it lasted. After the vicious encounter with the animal, the bleeding shepherd managed to cover a distance of several kilometres along a mountainous path before calling an ambulance. Doctors diagnosed multiple injuries to shepherd’s hands, legs, and head caused by the bear’s jaws and paws. As a result, Grković will remain hospitalised for over a week.

26 May 2013

RIA-Novosti

http://en.rian.ru/world/20130526/181349047/Bosnian-Shepherd-Strangles-Brown-Bear-Barehanded—TV.html

Editor’s Note:

The long and the short of this is, “Don’t mess with Serbs… truly, don’t”. The original mistakenly called the shepherd Bosnian… what a silly bunch of wabbits… everyone knows that Srpska Bosna is, for all intents and purposes, “virtual Serbia”. Get it right!

BMD

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