According to Anatoly Nikolaichuk, head of the Taimyr Department of the State Forest Control Agency who spoke to Russian state news agency TASS, the last time a polar bear was seen near Norilsk was more than 40 years ago. Local officials intend to catch the animal in order to examine it for physical trauma before airlifting it to its home.
— The Siberian Times (@siberian_times) June 18, 2019
"He is very hungry, very thin and emaciated. He wanders around looking for food. He almost doesn't pay attention to people and cars," Oleg Krashevsky, a local wildlife expert, is quoted as saying by multiple media sources. "He is quite young and possibly lost his mother."
— Chatbot para Empresa (@chatbotempresas) June 19, 2019
"He probably lost orientation and went south," Krashevsky added. "Polar bears live on the coast which is more than 500 kilometers (310 miles) away from us. How he got to Norilsk is not clear."
— AJ+ (@ajplus) June 19, 2019
In February, an emergency was declared in the Novaya Zemlya archipelago in Russia’s Arkhangelsk region after a massive invasion of polar bears.
According to Aleksander Minaev, deputy head of the Novaya Zemlya municipality, a large number of polar bears were spotted in the archipelago.
“There are numerous oral and written statements from residents and groups of schools and kindergartens demanding to ensure safety on the territory of the municipality. People are scared, afraid to leave their houses, their daily activities are disrupted, parents are afraid to let their children go to schools and kindergartens,” Minaev said at the time.
Some climate experts believe that wild animals like polar bears that live on sea ice are moving south in search of food as Arctic ice melts due to global warming.