The polar bear has been captured and is scheduled to be transported to the Rev Ruchey Zoo in Krasnoyarsk, Russia.
A polar bear described as sick and starving wandered into an industrial city in northern Siberia, roaming the streets and a local garbage dump scavenging for something to eat, reports say.
Officials in Norilsk, which is above the Arctic Circle, alerted residents Tuesday that a polar bear had been seen in the Russian city for the first time in more than four decades, the Associated Press reported, citing the news agency Tass. Photos showed the female, which appeared Sunday outside the city centre, trudging across a busy road with muddy paws, digging through rubble and trash and lying down from apparent exhaustion on the ground.
State wildlife experts are scheduled to assess the bear Wednesday and decide what will happen to it, according to the Guardian.
The AP reported that Anatoly Nikolaichuk, who heads the local hunting department, told Tass that authorities must also consider whether the bear can be transported by aircraft back to its home in the Arctic.
A wildlife expert who captured images of the bear told Reuters that it had watery eyes and did not appear to be able to see well.
Oleg Krashevsky told Reuters it was not clear why the animal had come into the city. Still, he wondered whether it was lost. In any case, he speculated that the animal may be in too poor condition to return it to its natural habitat, according to the news agency.
The recent sighting is reminiscent of one earlier this year in which dozens of polar bears invaded a Russian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean.
In February, local reports estimated that about 50 polar bears had taken over Novaya Zemlya, popping up in buildings, on playgrounds and at a local garbage dump. As The Washington Post’s Isaac Stanley-Becker reported at the time, officials declared a state of emergency, many people were too scared to leave their homes or let their children play outside. Military personnel were being transported to work sites in particular vehicles.