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Mild weather is making bears awake early from hibernation

By 0 and 0 and 0
02 April 2015


Officials in the Sakhalin Region say that bears are waking up early because of recent rains and the warmer winter. Picture: Sergey Gorshkov

Unusually warm weather is prompting bears to awake from hibernation early with warnings that they could attack people as they forage for food. A number of sightings of the animals has been made in parts of Siberia and the Far East in recent days, much earlier than normal.

In the southern Siberian region of Tuva - where about 3,500 bears live - two men were savagely attacked, suffering serious head and arm injuries, with one of them losing an eye.

And at the weekend the tracks of a mother bear and two cubs were found in the Gorny Vozdukh ski resort near to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk in the Far East. Game wardens are now talking about the possibility of having to kill the animals if they do not move away from the slopes.

Officials in the Sakhalin Region say that bears are waking up early because of recent rains and the warmer winter.

On March 11, hunters from the Teguldetsky district, in the Tomsk region, shot the first bear of the year after it approached a dump near the dining room of a timber plant.

Sergei Bazykin, a local expert, said: 'Most likely, he was just hungry when climbed into his den in the autumn or maybe someone scared it and he awakened. When that happened, of course he needed food.'

Bears awakening

Bears awakening

Bears in spring on Kamchatka pictured by brilliant wildlige photographers Igor Shpilenok(top) and Sergey Gorshkov(bottom). 

Two weeks later military personnel responsible for the protection of the closed city of Seversk, 15km north of Tomsk, noticed a bear and called in hunters. 

Also in the Tomsk region, residents in the Kargasok district are being asked to be careful and not let their children walk into the forest. Anyone who sees a bear on the boundary of their village is also being urged to notify hunters immediately.

Spring bear hunting started in Tomsk on Saturday with the limit set on 311 bears.

Immediately following their hibernation period bears are more dangerous than normal because they are foraging for food. They tend not to wake up until the first half of April but the mild winter has brought this forward.

Meanwhile, two bear cubs found alone in the forest in Yekaterinburg without any sign of their mother have been rescued by a hunter and taken to a circus.

The man, believing that the bear’s parents had been killed, even spent a few days feeding them with milk before he decided what to do with them.

It was only after he found out that Aleksandr Ivanov, a famous bear handler, was on tour in the city’s circus that he handed the cubs over to be looked after.

Bears awakening

Bears awakening

Bears awakening

'They are like little children. Most of the time they eat, sleep and play.' Pictures: Natalia Kazantseva/Komsomolskaya Pravda

Mr Ivanov said: 'They are two sisters and about two months old. Mostly probably, their parents died because bears never leave their offspring.

'Foresters and hunters already know that if something bad happens, they should call me. If the bear cubs were not brought to Yekaterinburg, they would have died of hunger or would have been killed by predators.'

Each of the cubs is 6kg and they are doing well and getting bigger and stronger every day.

They have been checked by vet and they have no health issues, and they are eating milk porridge with vitamins. In time, they will also get to eat fruit, fish and honey. 

Natalia Kazantseva, the circus press officer, said: 'They are like little children. Most of the time they eat, sleep and play. They play together with the children of the circus artists.'

Most probably, the bears will take up a circus career. In the meantime the circus has launched a campaign to find the best names for the cubs.

Comments (2)

so you kill any bear you encounter? murderers..
AT, Croatia
08/04/2015 17:45
I love Siberia and Russia. The bears are out here also
Phyllis , Juneau Alaska
04/04/2015 08:19

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