A mass invasion of aggressive polar bears in Russia’s Arctic Archipelago has frightened people in homes and public buildings but cannot be hunted, as they are regarded as an endangered species, according to AFP.
An emergency has been declared in Russia's northeast Novaya Zemlya archipelago, which has a population of around 3,000 people, and where air force and air defense troops are based.
Russian authorities have so far refused permission to shoot the bears but "shooting the animals could be the only possible forced measure" the Arkhangelsk regional authorities which oversee Novaya Zemlya said in a statement.
The head of the local administration Zhigansha Musin said that the numbers of polar bears were unprecedented since 1983.
Bears are constantly inside a military garrison and literally chase people he said, as well as going into the entrances of blocks of flats, AFP reported.
"There are constantly six to ten bears inside the settlement," local official Alexander Minayev said in a report to regional authorities.
Local officials complained that measures to scare off polar bears such as vehicle and dog patrols have not been effective as polar bears feel secure and no longer react.
Polar bears are affected by global warming with melting Arctic ice forcing them to spend more time on land where they have to compete for food.