Lost polar bear taken to Siberian zoo to be treated

The two-year-old female polar bear had appeared, starving and exhausted, in Norilsk last Sunday. It fell ill and almost died after scavenging for food in a rubbish heap. PHOTO: REUTERS
The two-year-old female polar bear had appeared, starving and exhausted, in Norilsk last Sunday. It fell ill and almost died after scavenging for food in a rubbish heap. PHOTO: REUTERS

MOSCOW • A famished polar bear picked up last week after it wandered lost into a northern Russian city hundreds of kilometres from its Arctic habitat has been taken to a zoo in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk for treatment.

The two-year-old female polar bear had appeared, starving and exhausted, in the northern nickel-producing city of Norilsk last Sunday.

It became ill and almost died after scavenging for food in a rubbish heap and urgently needed treatment, oil company Rosneft, which works in the region, said in a statement on Friday.

The firm said it had taken part in the operation to transport the bear from Norilsk to Krasnoyarsk.

"The bear is receiving all necessary treatment and healthy food," it said.

Climate change has been damaging polar bears' sea-ice habitats, and forced them to scavenge more for food on land, bringing them into contact with people and inhabited areas.

It was unclear how the animal had ended up in Norilsk but Mr Oleg Krashevsky, a local wildlife expert who saw the polar bear in Norilsk, said it was possible it had simply got lost.

 

He said the bear's eyes were watery and that evidently it could not see well.

Mr Krashevsky said it was unclear what would be done with the polar bear as it looked too weak to be taken back to its natural habitat.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 23, 2019, with the headline 'Lost polar bear taken to Siberian zoo to be treated'. Print Edition | Subscribe