A polar bear has been making regular intrusions into an arctic town in Siberia’s Krasnoyarsk region over the past month, prompting officials to declare a “high alert” as the animal poses a threat to local residents, Russian media reported.
Although the bear has not yet attacked anyone, authorities in the port town of Dikson — located on Russia’s Arctic Ocean coast and considered the world's northernmost settlement on a continental mainland — have asked residents to remain vigilant and use caution when going outside.
“We are closely monitoring the situation with the polar bear in Dikson, maintaining constant communication with the local administration,” Svetlana Rodionova, the head of Russia’s environmental watchdog Rosprirodnadzor, said on the Telegram messaging app Wednesday.
In response to the polar bear’s regular intrusions, local officials arranged for a bus to safely transport children to and from school.
“The story of the polar bear appearing in Dikson is not new. It repeats itself from year to year, mostly in September and October,” said the head of the town Nikolai Burak
“This year, the bear has been on the territory of Dikson for a very long time, for more than a month,” he added.
As the planet continues to warm, polar bears have faced widespread loss of their sea-ice habitats, which has forced them to scavenge more for food on land, bringing them into contact with people and inhabited areas.