Emergency declared after 50 polar bears 'invade' Russian town

Credit: Anna Liesowska / Youtube

A Russian town has declared a state of "emergency" after "a massive invasion" of more than 50 hungry polar bears.

The animals came to the remote Russian outpost in search of food. Video posted on social media shows the animals eating from bins, scavenging at a rubbish dump and walking around inside buildings.

Video posted online shows the bears hunting for food in bins. Credit: Muah Irinaelis/Instagram

Authorities in Belushya Guba, around 1,200 miles north-east of Moscow, say the bears have been spotted chasing people around the town, efforts to remove them are ongoing. A team is due to be dispatched to try to remove the bears and ensure the safety of local people.

Officials warned people of the dangers the bears pose, saying that they have been spotted "chasing people and even entering the entrances of residential buildings."

Head of the local authority, Zhigansha Musin, said: "I have been on Novaya Zemlya since 1983, but never before has there been such a massive invasion of polar bears."

The town is around 1,200 miles from the Russian capital. Credit: Google Maps

He warned that it will be "a lot of work," to get the animals to leave without killing them.

Local people's daily routines have been disrupted by the animals with people fearful to let their children go to school and kindergarten. Military workers have constructed re-enforced fences around vulnerable areas in attempts to fend off the wandering animals.

"People are scared, afraid to leave the house," a report from Alexander Minaev, Deputy Head of the administration of Novaya Zemlya Municipal Educational Institution said.

He added a team of four are waiting for paperwork to enter the area, saying the town has entered "emergency mode."

Authorities are hesitant to issue permits to shoot them, in part due to their declining numbers. Instead, local people will have to bear with authorities as they use patrols to scare the animals away.