Shocking footage of spray-painted polar bear leaves experts baffled and furious

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Footage circulating on Russian social media showing a polar bear with a slogan spray-painted on its side has shocked the wildlife community.

The bear can be seen with ‘T-34’ daubed on its side in black paint.

Wildlife experts believe it must be some sort of prank – and they doubt it would be possible to paint the bear without sedating it first. What’s more, the markings will now stop the bear from being able to blend in with its surroundings and therefore hunt for food.

The video was filmed somewhere in eastern Russia – around the Chukotka region – and circulated on WhatsApp and other social media platforms. An investigation is now underway to try and determine where the footage was filmed and what has happened to the bear.

Sergey Kavry, a member of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) nature organisation, picked up the footage and circulated it on Facebook.

The bear can clearly be seen with the markings on its side (Sergey Kavry/The Siberian Times)

‘I don’t know the details of which region, district, or vicinity this [footage] was taken,’ he told the BBC.

‘If it’s a military lettering theme… that is some kind of perverse disrespect for history,’ he added, referring to the fact the T-34 was a tank used by the Soviets in the Second World War against the Nazis.

The press officer for the World Wildlife Fund told the Beeb that the images were ‘quite a shock’.

The T-34 tank was a Soviet vehicle in WW2 (Sergey Kavry/The Siberian Times)

There is speculation in the Russian media that communities in the region are becoming angry with the increasing amounts of polar bear activity around their settlements. That may be because the polar bears are being forced to extend their scavenging locations because of the destruction of their hunting habitat by climate change.

Earlier this year, an exhausted polar bear was pictured roaming a Russian city hundreds of miles away from its natural habitat in a bid to find food.


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