Hundreds of walruses fell off 125-foot cliffs at Kozhevnikova Cape in Russia as they fled a group of polar bears that were attracted to the area by huge numbers of walruses at the special protection zone in Chukotka.
Now the polar bears are scaring residents of the small, nearby village of Ryrkaypiy, according to The Siberian Times.
“This autumn the situation is alarming,” Viktor Nikiforov, head of the WWF project Polar Bear Patrol, told The Siberian Times.
Some 5,000 walruses showed up at the rookery followed by a group of polar bears, which became well fed thanks to the walruses they terrorized into death.
“The walruses were obviously frightened by the predators, panicked and fell from the top to their deaths,” Nikiforov said, adding that several hundred died.
The walruses have since migrated away, but the village is surrounded by polar bears, putting a scare into the population of 766.
“About 20 polar bears remain practically next to the village,” Nikiforov told The Siberian Times. “There is enough food for them [from the many fallen walruses], but several young bears approach the houses out of curiosity.
“Three days ago, a bear squeezed in a window and tried to get inside. It’s clear that people are frightened.”
Local residents have begun patrolling the village in search of polar bears in order to scare them away from homes.
“We are trying to save the lives of both people and the Red Book polar bears,” Nikiforov said.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species lists the polar bear as vulnerable as its numbers are declining. “Loss of Arctic sea ice due to climate change is the most serious threat to Polar Bears throughout their circumpolar range,” the IUCN reported.
Read more about polar bears on GrindTV
For access to exclusive gear videos, celebrity interviews, and more, subscribe on YouTube!