Dozens of polar bears have crowded a village in Russia's far east in search for food, forcing public events to be canceled and humans to shelter inside.
Over the past few days, 56 hungry polar bears have wandered into Ryrkaypiy, a village in far north Russian Federation, forcing locals to cancel their New Year's celebrations.
Meanwhile, Mikhail Stishov, Arctic biodiversity projects coordinator for WWF-Russia, said: "If there is enough ice, the bears would go further north to hunt the seals".
In February, authorities declared a state of emergency in the Russian Arctic archipelago of Novaya Zemlya, after more than 50 polar bears invaded human settlements.
A reassessment of their habitat in 2015 found there was a "high probability" that the global polar bear population will decline by more than 30% over the next 35 to 40 years.
The animals were "both adult and young. there were females with cubs of different ages", she said, adding that nearly all of them appeared to be thin.
Anatoly Kochnev reportedly told Tass news agency that polar bear visits are increasingly frequent and that five years ago, only about five bears got close to the village.
The loss of sea ice due to climate change is the biggest threat to their survival, according to the group.
Polar bears are having to travel farther to find food as sea ice retreats due to the climate crisis.
'Children are driven to school and kindergarten and back home in buses'.
In the meantime, two people have been assigned to patrol the outer-edges of the village to stop the bears getting in, while other volunteers have also joined in to help.
With their normal food sources depleted, the polar bears have been seen eating walrus carcasses that have been on the shore since last month.