But it is a terrifying sight for residents of an island town in Russian Federation because the bears have invaded their town. A state of emergency was announced on Saturday, with up to 10 polar bears reportedly on the settlement's territory at any given time. Since the bears started arriving in December, people have taken to staying at home, lest they meet a toothy surprise outside.
Conservation authorities turned down a request from the settlement to shoot the bears, which are protected in Russian Federation as an endangered species. "I've been on Novaya Zemlya since 1983", local administration head Vigansha Musin told The Siberian Times.
An absence of sea ice around the southern portion of the Novaya Zemlya island chain this year has most likely forced more bears than usual onto shore, Ilya N. Mordvintsev, a professor at the Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution and a leading Russian expert on polar bears, said in a telephone interview.
This included "attacks on people and entering residential homes and public buildings", said Minayev, the deputy chief of the local administration.
"Global warming is melting the ice so it has a chain reaction on how polar bears can survive", Liz Greengrass, a director at United Kingdom animal conservation charity Born Free Foundation told CNN in 2018.
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'Parents are wary of letting children to go to schools and kindergartens, ' he said.
CCTV footage shows the bear strolling down the snowy streets of Belushya Guba.
To protect the town, locals have built extra fences around schools and other sites, while special patrols try to scare off the bears with cars and dogs.
The federal environmental resources agency has refused to issue licences to shoot the most aggressive bears.
In January, a defence ministry official said that hundreds of disused military buildings had been demolished on Novaya Zemlya because polar bears were settling inside them.