An "invasion" of aggressive polar bears in inhabited areas of Arctic Russia has finally come to an end, officials said on Tuesday, February 19th, ten days after the animals came to the area looking for food.
AFP reported that officials in the remote north-eastern Novaya Zemlya archipelago declared a state of emergency last week after 52 bears were seen entering homes and public buildings.
"The mass invasion of polar bears into inhabited areas has ended," Novaya Zemlya authorities said in a statement, adding that emergency measures had been lifted.
The number of bear sightings has fallen sharply and are now close to "statistical average" for the time of year, they said.
"The threat has been minimised," the head of the local government, Zhigansha Musin told the Russian TASS news agency.
Officials said 24-hour patrols were preventing bears from entering the main settlement of Belushya Guba in Novaya Zemlya, which has a population of around 3,000.
The announcement came after polar bears were spotted at an open-air rubbish tip in Belushya Guba where they foraged for food.