Lost polar bear that ended up living on a rubbish dump after straying 950 miles into a Russian town is captured and taken to rescue centre as its adventure finally ends
- The predator trekked hundreds of miles after losing its way in the Arctic Ocean
- It was seen dodging traffic in the city of Norilsk as locals took photographs
- Now, it has been captured and is being kept at a local rescue centre in Siberia
Zoologists have caught a polar bear which strayed from the Arctic and wandered into an industrial city 950 miles to the south.
The predator was sighted on a garbage dump in the Siberian city of Norilsk, as armed police kept watch and curious locals took pictures despite warnings not to get too close.
Local officials said a polar bear had not been sighted in Norilsk for more than 40 years.
Now, the female polar bear has been captured and is being kept at a local rescue centre before it is delivered to a zoo in Krasnoyarsk, according to Russian media.
Caged at last: The polar bear which wandered some 950 miles away from the Arctic has been captured and brought to safety at the Royev Ruchei zoo in Russia
The polar bear, pictured today, was apparently caught and caged after being sedated by a specialist team, and will now be taken to a zoo in Krasnoyarsk
Experts say the polar bear, pictured today, is in bad health and should not be released back into the wild
The stray polar bear scavenges in a rubbish heap in the industrial city of Norilsk after it got lost in the Arctic, trekking 950 miles into Russia
Long way from home: The female polar bear which turned up 950 miles away from the Arctic
The polar bear reportedly walked around 950 miles south from the Arctic shore to Norilsk
The bear will be flown to the zoo tomorrow as it is in bad health and releasing it into the wild would be dangerous, a local official told Russian news agency TASS.
Zoologists apparently caught the bear by sedating it with a drug before taking it to a cage.
The bear, which weighs around 440 pounds, is believed to be one or two years old. They usually live around 15 to 18 years.
The bear blocks the path of traffic as it roams wildly around the industrial city
The predator walked hundreds of miles after taking a wrong turn away from the Arctic Ocean to Norilsk where it was pictured dodging traffic.
Environmentalists say wild animals are suffering from the shrinking hunting environment and the receding ice as the Arctic is getting warmer, and some of them have ventured south in search of food.
Motorists in the nickel-processing city of Norilsk watched in amazement this week as the bear crossed busy roads.
The wandering bear settled on a city garbage dump in search of food.
But locals have been going too close seeking to take selfies with the new local celebrity, according to an animal specialist.
Parents have been criticised for taking their children near the predator – despite armed police monitoring the bear.
A specialist team was sent from the zoo in regional capital Krasnoyarsk to assess the condition of the bear and sedate it.
Expert Ekaterina Mikhailova said: ‘Right now our top priority after sorting any potential health issues would be to make sure that the bear is moved as far away as possible from the city.
‘We urge anyone who sees the animal NOT to feed it, and not to get close.’
Royev Ruchei Zoo experts prepare a cage to catch a female polar bear discovered in the Norilsk industrial area for the first time in 40 years
The starving animal scours the industrial landscape in search of food after its epic trek from the north
A local cameraman said he was stunned to see people getting close to the bear all for the sake of a selfie
The exhausted bear lies on a grubby patch of ice as it faces removal either to a zoo or back to the Arctic
The bear lying on the snow close to the nickel smelting factories which produce heavy pollution
The starving bear could be seen hauling over a rubbish heap in a desperate search for food
Local TV cameraman Artyom Smirnov said: ‘I was stunned to see how people were going as close as 30 metres (100ft) to make a selfie with the bear.
‘Some were bringing children with them. Together with them parents were leaving cars and walking towards the bear.
‘All for the sake of selfie… I was left speechless.’
Experts say the bear may have walked 950 miles to reach Norilsk.
It is the first time a polar bear has been seen in the city since the 1970s. On that occasion, the Soviet authorities shot the ‘aggressive’ bear.
Polar bears are an endangered species in Russia’s Red Book.
The bear’s mammoth journey is believed to have started on islands deep in the Arctic either in Krasnoyarsk or Yakutia regions.
The dangerous predator’s mammoth journey to the strange habitat of Norilsk has left conservationists with a battle to save it
People have been warned to stay well back from the animal which is being monitored by armed police
The last time a polar bear arrived in Norilsk was in Soviet times when the ‘aggressive’ animal was shot by authorities
The polar bear stands on a pile of dirt in the city – some locals have brought their children within 100ft of the animal, which conservationists say is extremely reckless
Authorities say they are faced with two options – either to take the polar bear back to its natural habitat or take it to a zoo
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