Arctic bears are being driven off their normal migration routes and into human habitation. We should feel pity – and fear

Russian islands declare emergency after mass invasion of polar bears

Polar bears prowling around a children’s playground. Polar bears lumbering along the corridors of apartment blocks and offices. Polar bears descending on a sleepy Russian town in their dozens.

To state the obvious: polar bears should not be wandering into human habitation, and certainly not in these numbers. That they are doing so in Belushya Guba shows how they are being driven off their normal migration routes and hunting trails by a changing climate. This has long been predicted – with the Arctic heating twice as fast as the rest of the planet, winter temperatures are rising and the sea ice – which is the primary habitat of polar bears – is shrinking.

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