A wandering, emaciated polar bear was sighted in Siberia. It was found in the middle of Norilsk in Northern Siberia. The female bear strayed hundreds of kilometres away from its natural Arctic habitat, reports The Guardian.
Visibly weak and ill, it lay on the ground for hours in Norilsk’s suburbs. With its feet caked in mud it occasionally rose to sniff around for food. According to local environmentalists, this is has been the first polar bear sighting in the last 40 years in the city.
Polar bear found on the streets of Siberia
At the time the bear was spotted, environmental services official Alexander Korobkin said, “She is still moving around a factory, under observation by police and the emergency services, who are ensuring her safety and those of residents.”
A local wildlife expert, Oleg Krashevsky was the one who filmed the polar bear up close. He explained that the reasons as to why the polar bear had wandered into the city remained unknown. The animal had watery eyes and could not see clearly at all.
Climate change continues to negatively impact wildlife
Climate change is posing a serious threat to the sea-ice habitats of polar bears. The confused animals are wandering onto land in search of food. This is what is bringing them into contact with people and inhabited areas. As the ice caps continue to melt, creatures of the Arctic region struggle to survive.
A state of emergency was declared in an inhabited area in northern Russia, earlier this year. This was because a dozen hungry polar bears were found scavenging for food and entering public buildings and homes.
In Norilsk, local officials will decide if they can catch the animal and airlift it back to the north. Images of the exhausted animal wandering the streets were shared extensively on social media. When the bear was first sighted, locals came rushing out to photograph the animal. Police officials also prevented them from getting too close.