Lost polar bear steals fishing gear as he desperately tries to find food 600 miles from home
A lone polar bear attempted to steal fishing gear from a fisherman while desperately looking for food after wandering 600 miles from its natural habitat in Russia.
Wildlife inspectors in Russia’s largest and coldest region, Yakutia, have so far failed to trap the adventurous predator amid fears for its survival so far from its arctic home.
The bear crept up on fisherman Andrey Rybakov, 41, who was fishing on the Khandyga River – and gave him the scare of a lifetime.
Lone wandering polar bear tried to steal fishing gear from local man as he desperately tries to find food after wandering 600 miles across Russia
Wildlife inspectors have so far failed to trap the adventurous predator amid fears for its survival so far from its natural habitat
The fisherman grabbed his ice pick and a rod and fled to take refuge in his Toyota Land Cruiser.
Meanwhile, the bear with the travel bug – nicknamed Polar Paddington – was rummaging through his bag and tackle box.
But there was no catch to steal for the beast, which ventured far outside the normal habitat of its species into brown bear territory.
âI was sitting and fishing – and this bear suddenly came from behind,â said Rybakov, clearly shaken.
‘I did not hear anything. And not just any bear. A polar bear.’
He recorded a video – the best footage to date of the wandering polar bear, and admitted, “He scared me.”
âI only managed to grab my fishing rod and my ice pick – and run,â he said.
âIt knocked over my tackle box. “
Rybakov said: âHe approached my rods. There is no fish! Ugh … I can’t go back now. He sits down and watches. And attack me when I try to approach.
From his vehicle, he shouted to the bear, âLeave my canes alone.
With no fish in sight, the bear instead stole his lure spoons as a souvenir, infuriating the fisherman.
âWhat are you doing?â The Russian shouted.
The bear slipped onto fisherman Andrey Rybakov, 41, who was fishing on the Khandyga River – and gave him the scare of his life
Polar Paddington has traveled 600 miles south of its natural habitat, raising fears it might get lost in uncharted territory
The bear is last seen scaling a snowy wooded embankment with the fisherman’s spooky lures clamped in its jaw.
Now, authorities in Yakutia are redoubling their efforts to catch the bear amid concerns for the safety of residents – and the bear so far from home.
It is very unusual for bears to move even a short distance south of the Arctic coast where they have abundant food.
But this bear has traveled 600 miles as the crow flies, and is actually likely much further on its winding journey in which it has followed distant roads and traversed the country, while avoiding the efforts of wildlife inspectors for the to follow.
Earlier this month it crossed the Arctic Circle heading south and is now close to the famous Bone Route, built by prisoners in Stalin’s time, connecting the coldest city in the world , Yakutsk, at the ancient port of Gulag Magadan.
Some experts initially thought that the wild animal could be an albino brown bear, as it is so unusual for polar bears to venture here.
The fact that the bear appears to be in good condition, not starving despite its inability to eat Rybakov’s lunch.
“It’s the satellite navigation that’s wrong,” said a local.
Yakutia Region Ecology Ministry Sakhamin Afanasyev has asked wildlife inspectors to make a new offer to find and catch the wanderer.
Meanwhile, new safety warnings have been issued to residents to be on the lookout for the creature.
Video taken from a truck following the bear shows it leaping through the snow on the Yana road, heading south towards the regional capital Yakutsk in mid-April
A lost polar bear had moved 500 miles from its natural habitat in the Russian Arctic by mid-April and continued to move away from its home
Earlier sightings have shown the bear in late March some 300 miles adrift from the Arctic, and more recently in mid-April on the lonely Yana Road in Tomponsky District about 500 miles from home.
In 2017, a bear cub was rescued in the Verkhoyansk district, about 450 miles from the Arctic coast, after attacking a fish processing plant on the Kolyma River.
But now this bear has gone further.
If captured, an assessment will be carried out to determine if Polar Paddington can be brought back to the Arctic and reintroduced to the wild.
The last time a polar bear wandered so far inland was in September 2017. A ten-month-old cub (pictured) was rescued in the Verkhoyansk district, about 450 miles south of the arctic coast of Siberia. [File photo]