Dozens of emaciated polar bears were spotted near a settlement in Chukotka, in Russia’s Far East, last week.
According to WWF Russia, 56 polar bears gathered to feed on walrus carcasses near the settlement of Ryrkaypiy.
The polar bears are unable to leave the area and hunt seals in open water because the ice is not yet thick enough to bear their weight owing to the unusually warm December.
Ryrkaypiy is located on the Chukchi Sea coast, south of Wrangel Island.
It’s not the first time polar bears have congregated near the village. In 2017, a group of bears also gathered near the village. Then, as now, the bears were drawn to carcasses of walruses while simultaneously being trapped on land by the lack of the adequate sea ice.
Employees of WWF Russia, part of a larger program in the Russian Arctic, are patrolling the area to ensure the bears do not enter the settlement.