A female bear and her cub were shot dead after boarding a Russian nuclear submarine that had docked at a military port in the Far East. According to a military spokesperson, the bear was aggressive and had been spotted several times in the region in recent days.
The couple had swum through Krasheninnikov Bay off Vilyukhinsk, Kamchatka, before boarding the ship, according to a statement by the Eastern Military District Press Service for the Pacific Fleet, as reported by state media.
“A female bear with a cub entered the pier zone on the deck of one of the nuclear submarines,” the statement said. It was assumed that the bears posed a danger to humans and that as a result an experienced trainer “with special hunting weapons” shot both bears.
Which bear species the mother and cub were was not specified, although the Kamchatka brown bear, sometimes known as the Far Eastern brown bear, is native to the region.
Footage of the bears was published by the local news site Kamchatka News. The bears in the video can be seen swimming to the submarine and climbing onto the deck. Then you can see them sitting on board before a shot is fired and one of the bears, which is probably the cub, falls into the water.
According to a translation of the news site, the man in the video says that there was no other way to get rid of the bear. He said that if the military had done anything to drive the bear out of the boat, she and the cub would have returned to one of the nearby villages. “This is how you have to fight bears in Kamchatka,” he is quoted as saying.
In general, bears tend to avoid people, but they will venture into built-up areas in search of food.
It is estimated that between 10,000 and 14,000 brown bears live on the entire Kamchatka peninsula, and they are occasionally seen in the military city of Vilyuchinsk, which is not accessible to foreigners.
Last November a bear was filmed running through the streets of the city before being chased away by the police. It is suspected that the same bear returned a week later after being spotted near the city’s hospital, Kam24 reported. One resident said the bear had lived in a nearby apartment building and had also been sighted in a playground.
The forestry department of the Kamchatka region informed the Russian news agency Interfax that more than 50 aggressive bears have been killed in the region since the beginning of 2020.