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"Bear Patrol" began driving polar bears out of the Chukotka village of Billings

In Billings village, polar bears appear from August to the end of November

28 октября 2020

The "Bear Patrol" - a specially trained group of local residents who, with the help of flare guns and loudspeakers, scare away Red Book polar bears, the shooting of which is prohibited - began work in the Chukchi village of Billings. The village is located near the "maternity hospital" of polar bears, Wrangel Island, and in recent years has become one of the main centers of attraction for predators due to shrinking ice fields as a result of warming, the press service of the World Wildlife Fund said on Wednesday.

The village of Billings, located on the coast of the East Siberian Sea, where about 180 people live, has become one of the main centers of attraction for polar bears since the late 90s. Warming in the Arctic has led to the fact that, due to the colossal reduction in the ice cover in the Arctic seas, bears began to accumulate on the coast, where they are forced to seek food for themselves.

In addition, the frequent appearance of predators near the villages of Billings and Ryrkaypiy may be due to the proximity of Wrangel Island, which is called the “maternity hospital” of polar bears. Several hundred predators can live there simultaneously. The island is separated from the village by the Long Strait, which is about 150 km long. Polar bears are good swimmers, and they can get from the island to the mainland in just a couple of days.