5-speed listening (Polar Bears - Level 2)

Dozens of polar bears invade Russian town






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Polar bears in the Russian town of Belushya Guba are scaring people. At least 52 bears have been seen wandering around. The town is on an island in the Arctic Ocean. The situation is serious because the bears have chased people into homes and offices. Local officials declared a "polar bear emergency". One said: "The people are scared. They are frightened to leave homes....Parents are afraid to let their children go to school or kindergarten." A local person said: "I have been [here] since 1983, but there have never been so many polar bears."

The polar bears are walking into towns looking for food. Experts say climate change is one reason for this. More sea ice is melting, so the bears are moving into new areas to find food. They can smell the food in bins outside people's homes. The town asked for permission to kill the animals to reduce the danger. However, Russia's environmental agency refused this request. Polar bears are a vulnerable species. The World Wildlife Fund says they are in danger because of the "loss of their sea ice habitat resulting from climate change".

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