First polar bears and now bears in Russia…….
One Russian town is living your worst nightmare: a bear apocalypse. Luchegorsk, a town of 21,000 near the Chinese border, is being terrorized by hungry bears following a shortage of wild nuts and berries, a.k.a. foods bears usually eat to fatten up for the winter. The Guardian reports that one brown bear and one Himalayan bear are “ruling” Luchegorsk, walking through the streets and attacking residents. Asian black bears have also been spotted, and another 30-ish bears are circling the town’s borders.
Local police are using sirens, cars, and pressure hoses and firing into the air to scare the bears away. Streets are filled with loudspeakers telling people not to leave their houses, and children are being kept inside. It’s basically the end of times, and there’s good reason to be cautious—one man was attacked by a bear at a bus stop, and another was ambushed while walking his dog.
So far at least two bears have been shot because they “posed a real threat to humans and were attacking local residents,” said Vladimir Vasilyev, head of the region’s animal control department.
As the bear’s food and habitats disappear, bear attacks in Russia are on the rise. Last summer a heat wave drove bears into cities, and at least three people died in bear attacks. The summer of 2010 was so hot that Siberian bears dug up human graves looking for food. According to Vasilyev, the situation will only get worse over time. Looks like it’s time for Luchegorsk residents to embrace their new bear overlords.