On the list of “Animals You Don’t Want To Tick Off,” bears should be right up at the top. They’re big, they’re strong, they’re fast, they’ve got sharp teeth and they live just about everywhere. So the news from Russia that dozens of black bears have overrun a town and a gang of polar bears are terrorizing an Arctic weather station isn’t good. You could blame this on the Russians but the number of grizzly and brown bear attacks in the U.S. are also on the increase in quantity and severity. Are the bears of the world rising up against humans?
The situation in Luchegorsk, Russia, is an example of where we may be heading. For over a month, the 20,000 residents of this eastern town on the border with China have been getting attacked by at least 36 Asian black bears. One woman compared it to a furry military siege, complete with loudspeakers on trucks blaring warnings.
There are crowds of these bears, like army units. We are scared to walk outside. All doors are shut in kindergartens, there are written warnings everywhere that walking with kids is allowed only in certain areas.
The fire department is fighting the bears off with hoses and the police are gunning them down in the streets. So far there’s been no aid coming from the central Russian government to help this far eastern town stop the bear uprising.
Meanwhile, three men at a remote weather station have been trapped for a week by five polar bears. The two meteorologists and their mechanic can’t leave their little building at the Fyodorov weather station on Vaygach Island in the Arctic Circle because the bears are outside waiting for them and their only weapon is a flare gun. Help is supposedly on its way but they don’t call it a remote station for nothing.
There’s undoubtedly more incidents that haven’t been reported. Are the bears really rising up against humans? If so, why? Climate change has melted the polar ice and forced polar bears to new locations. Harsh winters have made food supplies smaller for black bears in Russia, forcing them to raid towns and fight with humans for sustenance. Education systems in the U.S. have taken the science and nature out of science and nature classes, creating fools who mess with bears who are hungry, pushed out of their natural habitat or protecting their young.
Of course the bears are rising up against their oppressors. Can you blame them? Wouldn’t you?
Aren’t you too?