An orphaned polar bear cub may ‘simply die of hunger’ after it lost its mother and turned up in a remote settlement in Russia.
The two-year-old lonely bear arrived in the arctic settlement of Dikson, populated by 676 people, and there are concerns it will die without help.
It is feared that its mother was killed by poachers, and that it is likely that he will be experiencing confusion and shock.
Andrey Gorban, director of Roev Ruchey Zoo in Krasnoyarsk, has said that the cub requires assistance if it to survive.
Due to its young age, the bear cannot hunt and fend for itself as until around three-years-old, polar bears rely on their mothers for food.
Image:Andrey Gorban/The Siberian Times)
This has meant that the bear has not eaten for a few days and that he has not moved despite attempts by locals to force it out using flares.
“This is the most disturbing thing,” Gorban told The Siberian Times.
“The bear cub looks well-groomed, very cute.
“This is also a hazard factor for the bear because until three years old, the cubs have not yet been trained by their mothers to hunt, they cannot feed themselves.
"There are very high risks that he will simply die of hunger."
The decision on what action to take has been referred to Rosprirodnadzor, Russia's wildlife watchdog, in Moscow.
There are disagreements among experts about whether the endangered bear should be taken into captivity.
Describing the current circumstances of the bear, Gorban said: “The bear just lies in one place, and practically does not go anywhere.
Image:The Siberian Times)
Image:The Siberian Times)
“Sometimes the dogs chase him. He gets up, disperses the dogs and lies back down again.”
“The fact that he is now handsome, well-groomed, well-fed indicates that the mother has recently disappeared.
“And so he is still confused and shocked.
“He does not go anywhere and waits for his mother.”
Gorban believes that the bear should be taken into captivity, but this has been disputed by another expert.
Dr Nikita Ovsyanikov believes that the bear should fend for itself, and that whilst it is young, it has the capability to survive independently.
Dr Ovsyanikov urges locals not to feed the beast.
“There is no need to take him to a nature park or a zoo,” he said.
"This cub has every chance to survive in its natural habitat.”
Incidents such as this one have not been uncommon in Russia, with one polar bear travelling a shocking 2,500km earlier this year before arriving in a remote village, the furthest recorded distance travelled by a polar bear.
That bear was caught and taken into captivity for treatment and evaluation, in the hopes to eventually release it back into the wild.
In December 2019, 56 starving bears entered a village after warmer temperatures meant that the sea did not freeze over, and they were unable to migrate.
Locals has said that the increase in winter weather had led to more instances in polar bears entering towns and villages.Read More Read More