Environmental activists have blamed climate change for the appearance of a polar bear on the Kamchatka Peninsula
Residents of a village on the eastern tip of Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula have been stunned to see a polar bear prowling for food hundreds of kilometers from its usual habitat.
Russian media reported Wednesday that the exhausted-looking animal apparently traveled from Chukotka to the Kamchatka village of Tilichiki, some 700 kilometers (434 miles) to the south.
Environmentalists said the bear may have lost its sense of direction while sliding on an ice floe.
"Due to climate change, the Arctic is warming, the hunting environment is getting smaller and less convenient," said Vladimir Chuprov of Greenpeace. “The ice is retreating, and polar bears are looking for new ways to survive. And the easiest way is to reach people. "
Locals were making the bear feel welcome by feeding it fish, media reported.
Videos posted online showed the animal moving among the residents, showing no aggression.
Authorities in Kamchatka were preparing a rescue effort later this week. They plan to use a sedative to put the bear to sleep and then take it to Chukotka in a helicopter.
Polar bears' reliance on sea ice makes them highly vulnerable to global warming. Shrinking Arctic ice cover could increasingly deprive them of their usual prey, seals.