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Village besieged by polar bears as hundreds of terrorised walruses fall 38 metres to their deaths 

By 0 and 0 and 0
19 October 2017


'Now the walruses are gone, but about 20 polar bears remain practically next to the village.' Picture: Tatyana Minenko

The polar bears were attracted by 5,000 walruses that appeared this year at a special protection zone in Chukotka.

Many of the frightened flippered marine mammals fell off cliffs at Kozhevnikova Cape as they sought to flee the invaders.

Several hundred fell to their deaths, and the polar bears then ate the carcasses. 

Head of WWF project Polar Bear Patrol, Viktor Nikiforov, said: 'This autumn the situation is alarming.

Window squeezed

'Three days ago, a bear squeezed in a window and tried to get inside.' Picture: Tatyana Minenko

'Many crashed, falling from a height. 

'Their rookery had attracted polar bears.

'The walruses were obviously frightened by the predators, panicked and fell from the top to their deaths.'

Walruses on Cape Kozhevnikov

Walruses on Cape Kozhevnikov

Polar bars on Cape Kozhevnikov

Walruses and polar bears on Cape Kozhevnikov. Pictures: Maxim Deminov/WWF

'Up to 5,000 walruses were on the rookery, but there were a lot of dead animals - several hundred...

Now the walruses have migrated away but the village remains surrounded. 

'Now the walruses are gone, but about 20 polar bears remain practically next to the village,' he said.

'There is enough food for them (from the many fallen walruses), but several young bears approach to the houses out of curiosity.

Polar bears around Ryrkaipyi

Polar bears around Ryrkaipyi

Polar bears around Ryrkaipyi

Polar bears around Ryrkaipyi

Polar bears around Ryrkaipyi village. Pictures: Maxim Deminov, Varvara Sememova/WWF, The Siberian Times

'Three days ago, a bear squeezed in a window and tried to get inside.

'It's clear that people are frightened.'

Locals are patrolling and scaring the polar bears away from homes when they approach, he said. 

'We are trying to save the lives of both people and Red Book polar bears ...'

Comments (8)
There were no polar bears to make these animals fall to their deaths. Less ice means less land for them because it has melted and that ruins there chances to find food safely.
Janet, USA
11/05/2020 21:15
This colony, like many I've seen before, is on dry land - not ice. Receding ice exposes more dry land, so I don't see the logic in saying receding sea ice is depriving the walrus of breeding grounds.
Mike Mahone, Scotland
16/05/2019 18:26
Pete, how are the facts distorted?

Not watched it and certainly subscribing to the Times, but the jist online seems to be the Walrus' were there due to shrinking habitat, is this not the case then?

John, UK
15/04/2019 18:06
John Kraker, you are a fool if you think non-lethal method will stop bears from coming back. I go work at a mine in northern saskatchewan sometimes during the summer and they have bear situations everyday over there and let me tell you, snapping these guys with rubber bullets is temporary at best.
Emile Arseneault, Edmonton, Canada
13/04/2019 21:16
Trust the WWF and Attenburgh to distirt the facts -" .. David Attenborough’s Our Planet: Walruses plunging to deaths become new symbol of climate change .. " (
Pete Ridley, London, England
09/04/2019 19:48
Perhaps the natural reserve should be expanded and humans could leave the area...
Enrique, Spain
23/10/2017 18:11
The local residents need a non-lethal way to discourage the bears from roaming so close, as to present a clear and present danger to the community. If everyone in the village had a few cases of rubber shotgun shells and some of the crowd control stuff used by the Israelis, those bears would be gone, gone, gone in ONE hour or sooner.
John Kraker, Aloha Oregon
21/10/2017 11:40
Perhaps move some carcasses further away, in various locations, in preparation for the time the animals need to find "new" food.
Darlene Holmberg, Aniak
21/10/2017 04:42

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