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Wild invasion: Polar bear caught on CCTV walking into Russian apartment block

Wild invasion: Polar bear caught on CCTV walking into Russian apartment block

As human activity continues to drive the climate crisis that is causing rapid ice loss at both poles and in other cold regions, destroying the habitats of animals who live there, Russian islands in the Novaya Zemlya archipelago have declared a state of emergency in response to a "mass invasion" of dozens of starving polar bears who have been "chasing people and entering residential buildings".

However, despite desperate pleas for help, Russian authorities have so far refused permission to shoot the bears.

The allure of edible waste in Belushya Guba's garbage bins and dump sites likely stopped the bears from migrating farther north, the researchers said.

The head of the local administration Zhigansha Musin said that the numbers of polar bears were unprecedented.

Russian Federation classes polar bears as an endangered species and shooting them is prohibited by law.

Polar bears are affected by global warming with melting Arctic ice forcing them to spend more time on land where they compete for food.

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The worrying migration of bears began late past year when the animals started to flock to the settlements of Novaya Zemlya en masse, seeking food at local dumps and harassing residents and their pets.

Musin's deputy Alexander Minayev told regional authorities that some of the invading polar bears had attacked people, Agence France Presse reported on Saturday. "Constantly in the village are from six to 10 polar bears".

"I've been on Novaya Zemlya since 1983 and there's never been such a mass invasion of polar bears", he told regional officials.

"People are scared. They are frightened to leave homes, and their daily routines are broken", Minayev said. However, these measures seem to have failed as the bears are not afraid of signals used to scare them off, or patrol cars and dogs.

Some residents of Belushya Guba took to social media to show their own video and photos of the bears, and express their shock. However, the authorities decided not to shoot the predators, even most aggressive ones.