A starving polar bear has been wandering in an industrial city in Russia after he found himself ‘walking almost 1,000 miles in the wrong direction’.
The lost beast started heading in the south direction from the shore of the Arctic Ocean.
Far from its natural feeding habitat, people in the nickel mining city of Norilsk watched in amazement as the white beast crossed busy roads in a poor condition.
Starving and lost, the bear was seen scavenging for food. He appeared so weak to attack people. But the local officials have also warned the people of the threat to human life.
Locals said that this is the first time a wild polar bear has been spotted in the city since the 1970s.
The animal is believed to have made a lonely journey of 950 miles crossing Arctic islands and frozen sea to reach Norilsk.
Irina Yarinskaya, a photographer of Zapolyarnaya Pravda newspaper, photographed the bear dodging cars in the city’s traffic.
She told local media: ‘He is seriously hunger-bitten, he is hardly able to blink and keep his eyes open, almost unable to walk.
‘He was lying for a long time, having a rest, then he crossed the road and entered the industrial zone.
‘He went towards the gravel and sand factory. Then he crossed one more road and headed to a dump.’
Earlier, the white beast was spotted at Talnakh on the outskirts of Norilsk.
The bear had the ‘wrong compass settings’, and he walked across the Taymyr Peninsula to reach the city.
Emergency services and local police are closely monitoring the bear. They are now awaiting a decision from Moscow on whether to return it to the Arctic shoreline by sedating it or move it to a zoo in Krasnoyarsk.
Initially, the local emergency could not believe there was a polar bear in the Talnakh district.
Anatoly Nikolaychyuk, head of Taymyr department of state hunting control, said: ‘This is a unique and rare case.
‘There are two options now – either to relocate him to the shore or, perhaps, some zoo will take him.’
Oleg Krashevsky – who is a specialist in tours to the remote Putorana Plateau – posted: ‘I don’t understand how the bear could have walked such distance, across Taymyr and not come across anyone.
‘He must have encountered many hunters. The same thing happened in 1970s when a polar bear showed up at an explosives warehouse around the same place as this time.’
Polar bears are an endangered species in Russia’s Red Book.
Source – Daily Mail