An orphaned polar bear that is moping around a remote settlement in Russia may “die of hunger” after its mother is feared to have been killed by poachers.
The cub, estimated to be about three years old, was found alone in Dikson, an arctic settlement populated by 676 people. It has remained stationary at one location, barely moving.
Andrey Gorban from Roev Ruchey Zoo, Krasnoyarsk has stated that the cub needs assistance in order to survive.
“This is the most disturbing thing,” Gorban told The Siberian Times, The Mirror reports.
“The bear cub looks well-groomed, very cute. This poses a danger factor to the bear as the cubs are still young and not trained by their mothers to hunt. They cannot eat themselves.
“There are very high risks that he will simply die of hunger.”
The decision on what action to take has been referred to Rosprirodnadzor, Russia’s wildlife watchdog, in Moscow.
Experts are divided on whether the endangered bear should remain in captivity, or be left to its own devices.
Describing the current circumstances of the bear, Gorban said: “The bear just lies in one place, and practically does not go anywhere.
“Sometimes the dogs chase him. He gets up, disperses the dogs and lies back down again.”
“The fact that he is now handsome, well-groomed, well-fed indicates that the mother has recently disappeared.
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“And so he is still confused and shocked. He does not go anywhere and waits for his mother.”
Gorban believes the bear should be kept in captivity. However, another expert has disputed this opinion.
Dr Nikita Oleksianikov believes the bear should be able to survive on its own, even though it is still young.
Dr Ovsyanikov advises residents not to feed this beast. “There is no need to take him to a nature park or a zoo,” he said.
“This cub has every chance to survive in its natural habitat.”