Several people have been killed in Russia’s far east as an increasingly large number of Kamchatka brown bears are devouring humans due to a lack of alternate food sources.
In September, an oil worker was attacked and devoured by bears in the Yamalo-Nenets region. Some towns in the region are being terrorized by the aggressively hungry animals, looking to build up fat reserves before hibernation. “The animals are very active, they are seen right on the outskirts of settlements, scaring people and making them feel besieged,” the region’s wildlife and control service told the Siberian Times.
Authorities on Sakhalin Island (a large forest-covered island off the east coast of Russia that lies north of Japan between the Okhotsk Sea and the Sea of Japan) claimed that 83 bears — a three-fold increase on previous years — had to be culled because they were behaving aggressively. “This has never happened before,” a forestry worker told Agence France-Presse, asking not to be named because he is not authorized to speak to the media.
“There are not enough fish, berries, nuts,” he said, adding that the overfishing of salmon was somewhat to blame. “There should not have been any fishing nets installed at all this summer, there are so little fish, but they installed them anyway,” he said.