11 Feb 2019 17:23

Rosprirodnadzor group to go to Novaya Zemlya to assess polar bear aggression situation

MOSCOW. Feb 11 (Interfax) - The Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resources (Rosprirodnadzor) has formed a working group to deal with the emergency situation created by polar bears on Novaya Zemlya, the agency said.

The working group will assess the situation at the site and elaborate measures to prevent attacks, Rosprirodnadzor said.

"The directorate of the Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resources for the Arkhangelsk region has created an operative group that includes Rosprirodnadzor officials, scientists, and experts on polar bears," it said.

The Arkhangelsk region's government earlier reported that a state of emergency had been declared on Novaya Zemlya due to a dangerous increase in the number of polar bears there, Rosprirodnadzor said.

"Specialists from the operative group will assess the situation on-site, count the bears, see how aggressive the animals are, and come up with measures to prevent polar bears from attacking people," it said.

"The group will also include a specialist who will assess the state of the landfill that is attracting the bears. After that, a decision will be made on administrative measures and an extraordinary inspection by Rosprirodnadzor officials," the agency said.

Rosprirodnadzor has also contacted the government of the Arkhangelsk region, the head of the urban district of Novaya Zemlya, and the Defense Ministry to discuss the elimination of household waste dump sites.

"Rosprirodnadzor has not issued any permits to kill animals; the animals are in the Red Book. However, if the bears' behavior poses a real threat to human life and if a bear is killed, material on this situation will be sent to prosecutors for a further investigation," the agency said.