The Worldwide Fund for Nature and Russian authorities are working together to provide rubber bullets to residents of a remote part of Russia, namely Yamalo-Nenets, to help protect them from polar bears. The special bullets will only work to try to persuade the bears to leave an area rather than cause them any real harm, as the animals are a protected species in Russia.
Polar bears are a serious threat to humans in the arctic region due to their sheer size and power. They are the largest carnivore that lives on land and can typically reach weights of up to 1,200 lbs and heights of around 5 feet. They can also run surprisingly fast, reaching speeds of almost 19 mph.
The animals will often approach small towns or human habitats as they can offer easy access to food and shelter, especially if waste is left outside. They can then attack humans if they feel threatened or are particularly hungry.
Igor Koshin, the governor of the area, explained that some of the residents forget the threat posed by the animals and do not help themselves. “Unfortunately, people sometimes forget that they live on the Arctic coast, not in a megalopolis,” he said.