Spray-painted polar bear sparks alarm in Russia

A polar bear daubed with the painted slogan T-34, the name of a Soviet era tank. (Social Media)
Updated 04 December 2019

Spray-painted polar bear sparks alarm in Russia

  • Local media reported that scientists had marked the bear because it was scavenging for food near a human-inhabited area in the Arctic region
  • Polar bears regularly visit areas inhabited by humans in Arctic Russia to search for food, often in rubbish tips

MOSCOW: A video showing a polar bear daubed with painted slogan T-34, the name of a Soviet era tank, has caused alarm in Russia with experts saying it could prevent the bear hunting.
Local media reported Tuesday that scientists had marked the bear because it was scavenging for food near a human-inhabited area in the Arctic region.
The video was posted on Facebook on Monday by Sergei Kavry, who works for the World Wildlife Fund in the Chukotka region.
He said he was concerned at the large letters daubed on the side of the bear, seen plodding through snow.
“Why? Why? He won’t be able to hunt inconspicuously,” Kavry wrote. Kavry said he found the video on a WhatsApp social media group and did not know where it was shot.
A senior researcher at the Institute of Biological Problems of the North in far eastern Russia, Anatoly Kochnev, told RIA Novosti news agency he did not know where the video was shot, but the letters could have been painted on by “jokers.”
“At first, until he cleans himself off, it will be hard for him to hunt,” the scientist said.


Severpress news agency, based in the Yamalo-Nenetsky region, some 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles) northeast of Moscow, reported that the marks were put on by an expedition of scientists on Novaya Zemlya, a remote and sparsely populated Arctic archipelago.
It cited experts as saying a team of scientists from Moscow went to investigate a polar bear that was raiding a settlement’s rubbish tip and they marked the bear to see if it returned.
The agency quoted Ilya Mordvintsev, a senior researcher from Moscow’s Institute of Problems of Ecology and Evolution, as saying the expedition members caught the bear and sedated it.
Finding the animal was well-fed and therefore would not attack humans, they took it to a safe distance from the settlement and marked it with paint that would wash off in two weeks, to see if it returned to scavenge, he said.
The video was apparently shot last week, the agency reported.
Polar bears regularly visit areas inhabited by humans in Arctic Russia to search for food, often in rubbish tips.
In February in Novaya Zemlya, officials sounded the alarm over an “invasion” of 52 bears in the main settlement there.
The bears are affected by global warming with melting Arctic ice forcing them to spend more time on land where they compete for food.

 


Finnish Santa Claus spreads message of sustainability in run-up to Expo 2020

Updated 04 December 2019

Finnish Santa Claus spreads message of sustainability in run-up to Expo 2020

DUBAI: Expo 2020, being billed as the world’s greatest show, will feature sustainability as one of the integral pillars when the six-month event opens in October next year.

And Finland’s real-life Santa Claus is spreading the message of sustainability and the importance of adapting a circular economy to combat climate crisis, one of the most pressing issues the global community is now facing.

During a recent visit at Arbor School, the UAE’s only ecological school, Santa Claus delivered an open letter challenging those in power to listen to their youth and include them in the conversation surrounding sustainability and environmental issues.

Santa Claus also hoped that his message in the letter would start a wider dialogue about the environment, what we can all do to help heal the planet by adopting a circular economy, which Finland has adopted as a national policy.

During the 2018/2019 school year, over 70,000 children and young people from primary school to university age studied the circular economy as part of Finland’s national curriculum.

“The decline of biodiversity and subsequent challenges made to traditional societies and economic strategies are driving countries to make drastic changes and develop sustainable solutions to guarantee the future our youth deserve. We believe education is the foundation of any significant change,” Marianne Nissilä, Finland’s ambassador to the UAE, said.

“With professions of the future becoming more and more diverse, it is vital we prepare our younger generations by giving them access to the knowledge, understanding and the appetite essential to effect positive change.”

Finland’s pavilion in the Expo 2020 will be centered on its main theme ‘Sharing Future Happiness’ wherein over 100 Finnish companies would showcase globally-leading clean technologies, a circular economy with sustainable use of resources, sustainable energy and digital solutions among others.