Hungry Bears Approach Villages in Russia’s Flood-Hit Far East

KHABAROVSK, August 28 (RIA Novosti) – Aggressive bears, starving because their natural food sources were destroyed by floods, are becoming a growing threat for Far Eastern villages, local police said on Wednesday.

According to Yevgeny Shukshin, the police chief of the Polina Osipenko district in the Khabarovsk Territory, bears currently have difficulties with finding their traditional food – berries and salmon – because of floods.

“Chances of meeting the predator have increased,” he said in a statement. “Hunger drives the animals closer to humans, forces them to search for food at garbage dumps. More and more often we are being informed of bears approaching villages.”

In one of such incidents, police had to deal with an aggressive bear, which dangerously approached a group of children picking mushrooms. Officers initially tried to scare the animal off, but it ran towards them and was killed.

Due to the flooding, which has occurred over several weeks, an emergency situation has been declared in four far-eastern regions – the Amur Region, the Jewish Autonomous Region, the Khabarovsk and Primorye territories – as well as in the Siberian republic of Yakutia.

A deputy presidential envoy to the Far East, Vladimir Pysin, said on Tuesday the overall damage is currently estimated at 30 billion rubles ($1 billion). Only in three Far Eastern regions – the Amur Region, the Jewish Autonomous Region and the Khabarovsk Territory – 190 settlements with almost 9,500 buildings were affected.


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