A hungry polar bear got lost and ended up in an industrial city in Russia. It had “walked almost 1,000 miles in the wrong direction,” according to the city’s mayor.
The lost animal went south and inland from the Arctic Ocean shore, far from where it normally ate.
People driving in the city of Norilsk, which is where nickel is mined, were amazed as the bear crossed busy roads.
The bear was looking for food and didn’t look strong enough to attack people watching it, but officials in the area have warned of the threat to human life.
The skinny polar bear was seen walking around the streets of Norilsk, dodging cars and looking for food.
Locals said the last time a wild polar bear was seen in the city was in the 1970s.
Reports say that the animal travelled alone for at least 950 miles across Arctic islands and frozen sea to get to Norilsk.
Irina Yarinskaya, a photographer for the newspaper Zapolyarnaya Pravda, took a picture of the bear avoiding traffic in the city.
It is thought that the polar bear walked almost a thousand miles from the Russian Arctic coast to the mining city of Norilsk in the south.
She told local media, “He is so hungry that he can barely blink or keep his eyes open, and he is almost too weak to walk.”
“He laid down and rested for a long time. Then he crossed the road and went into the industrial zone.”
“He went in the direction of the gravel and sand factory. Then he went across one more road and went to a garbage dump.
Before, the same bear was seen in Talnakh near Norilsk.
The lost and hungry wild animal looked too weak to attack people, but the authorities kept an eye on it because it was still a threat to life.
The animal has become a big deal in a dry area where brown bears, not polar bears, usually live, according to The Siberian Times.
The bear had the “wrong compass settings,” so it walked across the Taymyr Peninsula to get to a Soviet-era nickel city that is usually off-limits to foreigners.
Local police and emergency services are keeping a close eye on the bear, which is a threat to the people who live there.
But they are waiting for a decision from Moscow on whether to sedate the animal. And return it to the Arctic shoreline or move it to a zoo in Krasnoyarsk. This regional capital is 950 miles further south.
During the bear’s long walk, people in Norilsk saw it. At one point, it was seen lying on the ground on the edge of the industrial city.
“Now, we have two choices: move him to the shore, or maybe a zoo will take him.”
Local activists are demanding that the bear be returned to where it belongs.
The polar bear was seen looking for food in an industrial area of Norilsk and on busy streets.
Oleg Krashevsky, who runs tours to the remote Putorana Plateau, wrote on Facebook, “I don’t understand how the bear could have walked so far across Taymyr without meeting anyone.”
“He must have met a lot of hunters. In the 1970s, the same thing happened when a polar bear showed up at an explosives warehouse near where we are now.
Residents took videos and pictures of the polar bear as it journeyed from its natural habitat over the Taymyr Peninsula.
In Russia’s Red Book, polar bears are listed as an endangered species.
People think the bear’s long journey began on islands deep in the Arctic, either in Krasnoyarsk or Yakutia