An emaciated and hungry polar bear was seen in an industrial Siberian city, hundreds of miles away from its normal stomping grounds, CBS News reports.
Emergency officials from the city of Norilsk warned local residents on Tuesday about the bear, which was sighted in one city district.
A starving polar bear was spotted hundreds of miles away from her natural habitat in a Siberian town. She collapsed on the ground for hours.— AJ+ (@ajplus) June 19, 2019
Activists say climate change is drastically reducing the bears' natural sea ice habitat, forcing them to wander for miles for food. pic.twitter.com/xHlu9z6f5W
"He is very hungry, very thin and emaciated. He wanders around looking for food. He almost doesn't pay attention to people and cars," local wildlife expert Oleg Krashevsky, who saw the animal, told CNN. "He is quite young and possibly lost his mother."
Local officials will decide if they can catch the polar bear and airlift it back to its normal habitat, which is some 300 miles north of the suburban city.
A polar bear was last spotted near Norilsk more than 40 years ago, Russian state news agency Tass reports.
Local Arctic region officials in Russia declared a state of emergency in February after villages were overrun by packs of polar bears, which experts said was a result of global warming.
Melting sea ice and rising temperatures in the Arctic have decimated the bears’ hunting grounds, forcing them to go elsewhere in search of food.
Scientists have issued dire warnings about the severe reductions in Arctic sea ice and the potential threats posed by climate change.
Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike PompeoRepublican lawmakers raise security, privacy concerns over Huawei cloud services WashPost fact-checker gives Pompeo four 'Pinocchios' for 'zombie' claim about Obama Iran deal Poll: Biden, Trump statistically tied in favorability MORE said in May that the “steady reductions in sea ice are opening new passageways and new opportunities for trade.”