A polar bear was spray-painted with graffiti. Experts fear it won't survive

Experts say the graffiti poses an extra threat to an animal already in danger because the polar bear won't be able to hunt unnoticed.

Posted: Dec 4, 2019 9:26 AM


Thick, black graffiti sprayed onto a Russian polar bear's coat poses an extra threat to an animal already in danger, experts say.

Video shared on social media shows a lumbering polar bear whose back had been branded with "T-34," the name of an old Soviet Union tank.

The video was posted to Facebook on December 1 by Sergey Kavry, a World Wildlife Fund employee who lives in the remote Russian region.

In the comments, Kavry said he obtained the video via WhatsApp from indigenous minorities in Chukotka, in Russia's far east, though it is not clear from the video where it was filmed.

Polar bears are having to travel farther to find food as sea ice retreats due to the climate crisis.

The Russian branch of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) released a report in August warning that residents of the coastal village of Ryrkaipiy in Chukotka had begun to "encounter polar bears near the settlement."

Kavry said he was concerned about the branded bear's ability to survive in the wild: "Why! Now he won't be able to hunt unnoticed."

Anatoly Kochnev, a senior researcher at the Russian Academy of Sciences, told Russian state news agency RIA Novosti that, while the black paint is likely to wash off, the polar bear might find it difficult in the meantime to use its coat as camouflage while hunting.

It's not known why the animal was painted. Kochnev said it was probably the work of "pranksters."

In February, authorities declared a state of emergency in the Russian Arctic archipelago of Novaya Zemlya, after more than 50 polar bears invaded human settlements. Videos showed them walking down streets, raiding bins and trying to enter homes, according to Russian state media.

Parents were too scared to send their children to school and fences were installed around kindergartens for extra protection, Russian state news agency TASS reported.

Polar Bears are listed as "vulnerable" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The loss of sea ice cover due to climate warming is considered the single biggest threat to their long-term survival.

A reassessment of their habitat in 2015 found there was a "high probability" that the global polar bear population will decline by more than 30% over the next 35 to 40 years.

Huntsville/Redstone
Partly Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 43°
Muscle Shoals
Partly Cloudy
49° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 49°
Huntsville/Madison
Partly Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 43°
Decatur
Partly Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 43°
Fort Payne
Partly Cloudy
38° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 38°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 524367

Reported Deaths: 10807
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson756511496
Mobile40258800
Madison34165498
Tuscaloosa25448445
Montgomery24089574
Shelby23250243
Baldwin20787302
Lee15670166
Calhoun14375313
Morgan14180274
Etowah13716348
Marshall12022220
Houston10427279
Elmore10011202
Limestone9873149
Cullman9512191
St. Clair9508236
Lauderdale9293234
DeKalb8774183
Talladega8131173
Walker7153277
Autauga6793107
Jackson6772110
Blount6556133
Colbert6240132
Coffee5435113
Dale4780111
Russell432139
Franklin421882
Chilton4153110
Covington4084116
Tallapoosa3943149
Escambia390375
Dallas3529150
Chambers3526122
Clarke347660
Marion3084100
Pike306776
Lawrence297696
Winston273272
Bibb256961
Marengo248461
Geneva246475
Pickens233359
Barbour228455
Hale219175
Butler214068
Fayette210560
Henry188344
Cherokee182945
Randolph178741
Monroe174040
Washington165838
Macon156849
Clay150956
Crenshaw149957
Cleburne147141
Lamar139834
Lowndes137853
Wilcox125427
Bullock122140
Conecuh109828
Perry107626
Sumter103332
Coosa100928
Greene91534
Choctaw59024
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 837833

Reported Deaths: 12111
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby933421591
Davidson88250926
Knox49926625
Hamilton43501488
Rutherford42422423
Williamson27589215
Sumner23549345
Montgomery19740224
Wilson18547229
Out of TN1797995
Unassigned16778133
Sullivan16266287
Blount15213194
Bradley14670148
Washington14243244
Maury13261170
Sevier13204175
Putnam11193173
Madison10853241
Robertson9627129
Anderson8639171
Hamblen8522171
Greene7746152
Tipton7235104
Coffee6833121
Dickson6740109
Cumberland6586128
Carter6487156
Bedford6439129
Gibson6410144
McMinn637897
Roane6197102
Jefferson6089124
Loudon602469
Lawrence582086
Hawkins5802106
Monroe572495
Warren551881
Dyer5371104
Franklin509488
Fayette493678
Obion450396
Cheatham445954
Cocke444298
Rhea431575
Lincoln430963
Marshall412358
Campbell410562
Weakley403763
Giles396299
Henderson373276
Macon358677
Carroll357782
White356269
Hardin350566
Hardeman346764
Lauderdale314444
Henry312675
Marion310846
Claiborne307373
Scott305745
Overton298161
Wayne294434
Hickman280746
McNairy277254
DeKalb275753
Smith275238
Haywood268461
Grainger259649
Trousdale249122
Morgan246339
Fentress238446
Johnson232238
Bledsoe210111
Chester209651
Crockett201548
Polk200324
Unicoi195249
Cannon189231
Union186534
Grundy178433
Humphreys174622
Lake169626
Sequatchie167028
Benton163440
Decatur157538
Lewis156626
Meigs135124
Stewart131028
Jackson130035
Clay109431
Houston108633
Perry105728
Moore100217
Van Buren83622
Pickett75724
Hancock55712

Community Events