Crew members on a nuclear submarine have shot and killed a bear and her cub that climbed on board their vessel in Russia’s Far East, reports said Sunday.
Footage shared by local media in the Kamchatka region shows the cub and its mother swimming toward the submarine, then sitting on its deck before shotgun fire rings out and the cub is seen falling into the water.
“There’s no other way,” a voice behind the camera says. “If you chase it out, it’ll wander into the villages. That’s how you fight bears in Kamchatka.”
The animals swam over Krasheninnikov Bay and climbed atop the docked nuclear submarine near the village of Rybachiy, the Russian Navy’s Pacific Fleet spokesperson told Interfax.
A hunting expert and instructor from the military town of Vilyuchinsk was called in to kill the bears with a “specialized hunting weapon,” the spokesperson added. Vilyuchinsk is a closed city that houses a squadron of Pacific Fleet submarines.
The Telegram news channel Baza reported, without citing sources, that the bears were shot because the mother “was very emaciated and wounded and the cub would allegedly become aggressive without its mother.”
The outlet, which is reported to have links to Russia's military and security services, added that villagers had for several days spotted and tried to chase away the bears.
At least 50 aggressive bears have been killed so far in 2020, the Kamchatka region’s forestry management agency told Interfax.
Between 10,000 and 14,000 brown bears live on the remote Kamchatka peninsula, where they occasionally cross paths with humans, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society.
While they enjoy feeding on roots, berries and honey, bears can attack humans if they feel threatened.