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Polar bears invade island town in Russian Federation, locals terrified and emergency declared

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Susanne Miller  US Fish and Wildlife Service  Handout via REUTERS

Novaya Zemlya, Russia has declared a state of emergency after 52 polar bears invaded their town.

CCTV footage shows the bear strolling down the snowy streets of Belushya Guba.

Presence: Two of the dozens of polar bears regularly spotted in the area.

Although Russia classifies polar bears as endangered species and bans their killing, regional authorities reportedly entertained the idea of shooting down the animals as "the only possible forced measure".

Russian Federation allows limited hunting by far northern indigenous groups.

Belushya Guba is a settlement of about 2,000 people in Russia's remote Novaya Zemlya archipelago, which is best known for its spooky plankton blooms and apocalyptic nuclear bomb tests.

According to residents, the bears have become increasingly comfortable around humans. The bears had no fear of signals used to scare them off as well as of patrol cars and dogs.

Some of the animals have attacked people and entered residential buildings, the agency said.

"People are scared, afraid to leave their homes, their daily routines are being broken, and parents are unwilling to let their children go to school or kindergarten", Minaev said.

The settlement put up additional fencing around schools and arranged for children to be driven to and from class.

And we already know that polar bears are suffering direct effects of that disappearing ice and other changes to the climate in the arctic.

Over fifty bears enter small townThe Washington Post reports: Fences have risen around kindergartens. He said sea ice can shift dramatically in the area depending on a variety of factors.

Local administration head Vigansha Musin said: "I've been on Novaya Zemlya since 1963".

And neither are ill-advised human actions that can lure the bears.

The town is mostly occupied by Russian military personnel.

Such restrictions are meant to prevent just the sort of encounters that are now terrorizing the settlement. Since December, the bears have been seen all around the town, and have displayed aggressive behavior, including breaking into homes and public buildings.

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