Why polar bears invaded a Russian village

<em>A polar bear staring at the US Coast Guard Cutter Healy.</em>

A combination of dwindling sea ice and an all-you-can-eat-buffet of garbage may be drawing a massive influx of polar bears to towns on a Russian archipelago. It’s a worst-case scenario for both the polar bears and people because proximity increases the potential for conflict.

At least 52 polar bears have visited the village of Belushya Guba on the Novaya Zemlya islands in northern Russia over the past few months, The Washington Post reports. The bears are getting into homes and office buildings, prompting officials to declare a state of emergency. Videos uncovered by The Guardian that purport to show the bear invasion show them chowing down at the local dump. It’s exactly the behavior experts expect given the easy access to garbage in…

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