Ten fat polar bears filmed raiding a stalled Russian garbage truck

Posted on October 20, 2020

From the Siberian Times today (20 October) is a story with few facts but a fabulous video of six fat adults and four fat cubs as they set siege to a stalled open garbage truck in the Russian Arctic. It may have been filmed on Novaya Zemlya but that has not been confirmed.

Of course, Novaya Zemlya has had previous problems with bears habituated to garbage, most famously an extended incident in 2019 that was perversely blamed on climate change.

There were two families that I could see in the video: a female with two cubs-of-the-year and another with two year old cubs. All were in excellent condition, as were the other four adults. Novaya Zemlya, if indeed this is where the incident took place, is between the Barents and Kara Seas (see below):

From the Siberian Times story:

The video from an unidentified location in the Russian Arctic was shared by a driver who happened to be on the same road as the broken rubbish truck. The truck’s military number plate suggests it could have been filmed at the Novaya Zemlya archipelago, but The Siberian Times couldn’t confirm it. Four large bears are filmed climbing inside the truck one after the other, as the cubs look on.

Other adult bears are seen running towards it.

Read the rest of the story here and watch the video below:

Polar bears…too many polar bears

91 thoughts on “Ten fat polar bears filmed raiding a stalled Russian garbage truck

  1. The driver would have been a tasty snack, but he was probably crappin’ his pants thinking what if they come and break the door windows and haul him out. That has happened before. This just goes to show there is no shortage of polar bears in the Arctic. In fact, probably in 15-20 years, there will be too many PB’s and be a real problem for residents if there is a real bad cold year and they are requiring more calories to survive.

    It was obviously previous hunting pressure that crashed their populations, and probably the warming in the north is net beneficial to them, considering that their main hunting time on the ice is in spring and early summer summer when there is almost always ice to hunt from. When will be able to put the polar bear myth to bed as part of the CAGW narrative?

    • In fact, probably in 15-20 years, there will be too many PB’s and be a real problem for residents if there is a real bad cold year and they are requiring more calories to survive.

      There are too many all ready, people are getting ki11ed. They should increase the number of permits and let the Eskimos take care of them in their time honoured ways.

      • Harvesting some polar bears is long term Inuit tradition, so culling the problem bears probably makes sense, considering that is how polar bears co-evolved with humans the last few thousand years in the Arctic and had genuine fear of humans. Training the problem polar bears that hanging around people and communities would be bad for their ‘health’ so to speak, could mean that humans and bears could live in general relative peace, as long as we take care of garbage. This is the other message of this article.

        Bears aren’t stupid and pass onto their young where it makes sense to hunt and which areas to avoid. Not taking care of garbage is key to ensuring the bears have no incentive to bother communities. When the bears associate people with garbage or possible harm, they will learn to stay away, providing that they aren’t compelled to visit the local garbage dump.

        The same is true in the south when people don’t manage their garbage, fruit trees or gardens with common sense solutions such as eliminating food sources or protecting their property with electric fences. I live fairly remote in bear country and take this seriously regarding food sources, especially garbage, and so far, touch wood, haven’t had any problems with bears in nearly 40 years. Except before then, for one black bear that came through the bedroom window at 6 Am when I lived near the remote town dump. Didn’t end well for the bear, but almost didn’t end well for me. Managing garbage and food sources is our responsibility.

  2. … Novaya Zemlya has had previous problems with bears habituated to garbage …

    Once they’ve had a taste of garbage they’re darn hard to get rid of. The town of Churchill, Manitoba deals explicitly with the polar bear problem. link

    … we also have bear-proof waste and recycling containers wherever possible, and we have more frequent waste collection than is usual in other urban situations.

    You really don’t want those critters wandering around anywhere near your home.

  3. Griff will be along soon telling us how this is all rubbish based on his armchair, Guardian based, science.

  4. And why are they raiding a garbage truck? Perhaps it is because they can’t get out on the ice…

    https://seaice.uni-bremen.de/data/amsr2/today/Arctic_AMSR2_visual.png

    The ice extent is not just lowest for this date, but astonishingly low…

    Look at the Laptev sea…
    https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=3299.0;attach=289415;image

    People can’t keep pretending that that the low sea ice levels aren’t going to affect the bears…

    • Griffiepoo – tell us about the Holocene Thermal Maximum, when the Arctic was ice-free in Summer.

      • Griff cannot possibly let that FACT into his feeble little mind

        It would collapse inward from the size of a marble to the size of a pee. !

          • Agreed.

            I don’t mind Griff’s comments, but he steadfastly refuses to back up his assertions, no doubt because he knows his assertions cannot withstand honest scientific scrutiny.

          • “David Kamakaris October 23, 2020 at 4:41 am”

            Agreed.

            “Clyde Spencer October 23, 2020 at 9:04 am”

            Agreed.

    • These bears thrived when there was less ice.

      Scientists told Congress that it could be all gone in Summer in 25-50 years time – in 1954. That couldn’t have happened unless there was some obvious decrease in the ice extent. Somehow, reconstructions didn’t spot it. Who would have thunk it?

    • “griff October 23, 2020 at 12:34 am

      And why are they raiding a garbage truck?”

      Easy pickings! Garbage does not bite back. You don’t have to chase garbage on ice when it is in a nice, easy access, box.

    • SO MUCH SEA ICE up there, hey griff.

      MUCH MORE than for most of the last 10,000 years

      And polar bears lived and prospered through that time of MUCH LOWER sea ice.

      You can’t just KEEP PRETENDING that they didn’t.

      And now the the Arctic has RECOVERED SLIGHTLY from the extreme levels of the LIA and late 1970s, LIFE is coming back to the Arctic Ocean as well.

      I know you HATE the prospect of Arctic sea life prospering,

      … but you really have to get over such a petty hatred.

      REJOICE for Arctic life.. It now has a chance to exist without being frozen over all year around.

    • Or perhaps they can smell it from miles away and are attracted to it,

      … like they would be to a dead seal or any other edible smell.

      Why are you so dumb all the time , griff.

      You have this tiny, one-track, brain-washed mind, incapable of ever letting actual facts in that don’t fit your anti-science religion..

      • He is paid to make stupid comments. I’m guessing that the word rate for trolling WUWT has gone up as his posts are a lot longer than they used to be. Does that mean that WUWT is starting to have an impact on the Warmista religion?

          • Wish I could get a friend’s video to post, she has an hour of Momma Bear and two cubs rooting through the trash cans of an apartment complex across the road from her farm, hour and forty minutes, its hilarious. Big green “bearproof” trash cans tipped over and cleaned out, cars going by and they did not care in the least, its their weekly buffet.

    • “People can’t keep pretending that that the low sea ice levels aren’t going to affect the bears…”

      Except the sea ice level are higher than for most of the last 10,000 years

      Don’t let that fact get in the way of your mind-numbed mantra regurgitation, though, griff.

    • It’s true, low sea ice levels do affect the bears. It means more seals can breed and polar bears can eat better during the critical spring feeding season.

      Apparently in response to severe ice conditions in the Beaufort Sea during winter 1973-74, and to a lesser degree in winter 1974-75, numbers of ringed and bearded seals dropped by about 50% and productivity by about 90%. Concomitantly, numbers and productivity of polar bears declined markedly because of the reduction in the abundance of their prey species. …If the shoreleads of the western Arctic or Hudson Bay ceased opening during winter and spring, the effect on marine mammals would be devastating.” link

      In other words, the problem isn’t too little ice, the problem is too much ice.

    • They are eating the garbage because they are “feeders of opportunity”, just as all bears are. If you weren’t so stupid you might actually know something.

      • Indeed, black bears are a problem in semi-rural areas, they come for garbage and fruit on trees.

        Once accustomed to such rich food, they persistently return. Once they become accustomed to humans they are very difficult to banish. They have to be exported far away from any human settlement, which is hard on them – tranquilizing animals is risky for them, and dumping them into another animal’s territory is rough on them as they have to fight besides find food sources there.

        • This is a bugaboo for people in our area, when bears are a nuisance in the Pittsburgh/Allegheny County area they are trapped and released HERE, where we live. Call game commission and the usual response is “You live in the country, just deal with it.”. And when someone “deals” with the nuisance bear they come screaming in and want to arrest them. Archery and muzzle-loader bear season is on right now and the usual pack of screeching leftards in the Pittsburgh/Allegheny County are caterwauling about people killing bears. They then call the GC and screech about bears being in their yards and demand “something” be done about it. You simply can’t make these morons happy.

    • Griff,

      you failed to notice they are already FAT, when they are all over the garbage truck.

      You also fail (as usual) to realize this is Polar Bear country, they are going to be seen.

      You also fail to realize that there is plenty of ice available NOW, but the Seal and sea lions are nomadic, they move away for part of the year.

      Your biggest failure of all, summer sea ice levels have been low for about 15 years now, yet NO indication of Polar Bear population crashing, heck it appears to be growing still in most areas in the arctic.

      You make clear here, that you are NOT a rational man.

      • Sunsettommy,
        For a good explanation of what is going on in Griff’s and other Warmista minds I highly recommend the new book by evolutionary psychologist Gad Saad; The Parasitic Mind!
        He explains very cogently how some thoughts are parasitic or pathogenic, and severely lower or destroy the victim’s ability to think rationally.
        This explains why GangGreen so closely resembles a church, since most of it’s believers are motivated more by faith in what they are told than logical deduction! The griffster parrots what it is told; it can do no other!

    • Why would the bears waste time and energy on the ice, diminished or not, when people bring tons of food right to them?

      The bears aren’t dumb, like some posters here. They instinctively take the easiest way to feed themselves.

    • And why are they raiding a garbage truck?

      Same reason that you don’t get out of the basement … why work hard to get your own food when someone else brings it to you.

    • Griff remember Verkhoyansk? Well by next week it will be between -30/40C day and night. There is still some high residual sea surface temperature anomolies off the coast from the summer heatwave but now they have just about dipped to the ocean freezing point, they will vanish, and the ice will grow at probably record rates in the entire satellite record. This is called weather, inter-year variability. Nature being normal. Ice volume is above 2019 levels for the date already.

    • Looks like polar bears are a lot smarter than griff. (I know, a low bar)

      If you had humans dumping free food next door, which would you do?
      Take advantage of the free food.
      Go out onto the ice to try and catch food that is good at getting away.

    • And why are they raiding a garbage truck? Perhaps it is because they can’t get out on the ice…”

      I vote for, it’s easier to catch your average garbage than it is to catch a seal. Those polar bears ain’t stupid, they’ll eat what’s easiest to catch. Once they got used to eating garbage, they know that smell, when the garbage truck became stationary, they came a runnin’!

    • If there’s no ice for the bears, then there’s no ice for the seals. Then they’ll have to come on shore to have their babies, then it’s dinner time for the bears, just like in warm times of the past.

  5. Looks like me an my adopted, mentally and physically disabled grand-daughter attempting to leave the car-park at the local children’s playground 3 days ago on the after her 8th birthday

    Except the animals had two legs, aged about 15 & 16, numbered 20+ and were mostly female and clutching lit cigarettes and blue coloured fizzy pop
    Then they lectured *me* about Social Distancing as they attempted to wreck my vehicle

    Because their drug induced Magical Thinking (sugar, caffeine & nicotine) had caused them to believe I was kidnapping the child. Led on by a hysterical MSM that has convinced them that such happenings are commonplace

    Now, how many of us here and now are in the same drug induced state as those kids?
    How many ‘scientists’ and politicians are in the same mentally wrecked place?
    The place that says these polar bears are acting as they do because of Climate Change?

    And you know what – those polar bears are *actually* hooked on sugar Read= Cooked Starch

    Ponder…………
    Letting your own

    • Peta, your story is both very saddening and telling of the ignorance prevailing today.
      In the good old days the whole family was assembled at breakfast and dinner. We didn’t learn social behavior from FB and YT, but from family and friends around the table and by playing, fishing, hunting and reading books.
      What I like about WUWT is that most of us share the same respect for others, as we in general did half a century ago.

      The polar bears sense of smell is good, really good. Even if this was indeed a gravel truck, they might have smelled the driver’s lunch pack from far away.

    • Unfortunately, bored teenagers and polar bears are doing the same thing: looking for easy pickings.

      In the unfortunate incident with Peta and her granddaughter, it’s teenagers with brains the size of a pea and a pack/herd mentality that tells them if someone says “attack”, then they do. It’s this hand-me-down from the hunter-gatherer existence that drives this behavior, because it isn’t getting much action these days. We haven’t changed a whole lot since we pushed out our distant ancestors, and the polar bears haven’t changed, either.

  6. Why, oh why do people hold their phones vertically when filming? Have they never seen a movie?

    Won’t be long before AGW is blamed for obesity in Polar Bears, which will lead to their extinction.

      • fred250,
        BBQ will do well, but if my long-ago memories of college are correct “Free Beer” will take the prize!

        • Maybe we went to different schools, but if there was free BBQ, there was free beer, too! And the smell of BBQ carries further than the smell of beer.

    • They hibernate like their brown cousins do. In order to get through the cold of winter, they have to accumulate enough fat to not require solid food and NOT become dehydrated during those months. They are hardly starving. Since fat is about 80% water, stuffing themselves is the right thing to do to survive their hibernation period.

      There is NO such thing as an obese bear. Oh!!! I could do a tee shirt with that: Save the polar bears! Send them your edible garbage!

      They need to be fatter than a waddling farm hog!

      • As a matter of fact male Polar Bears don’t hibernate at all, and females only for a relatively short period.

  7. Shared this with a friend who said “poor things they must be hungry”. Just shows how propaganda can make you see something that isn’t actually there like starving Polar Bears which are actually quite healthy

    • Bears have a keen sense of smell.

      They can pick up the scent of dead seal or whale many miles away.

      Of course they are going to find the smell of human rubbish “interesting”. 🙂

  8. Gee whiz, I thought (most) everyone knew that polar bears, like all predators, are opportunistic food seekers, and will scavenge anything if it smells like food and isn’t too far away. So a stalled garbage truck smells like food (equals easy pickings) , just like trash dumps. My cat doesn’t eat an entire can of Fancy Feast unless she’s dumped a hairball, so end up tossing out perfectly good cat food that would make a polar bear snort with joy.

    All predators are like that. Squirrels will clean out a nest of baby birds. I managed to scare one away from the nest outside my window last year and this past summer. They’ll eat anything, including taking a chunk out of you if they get a chance, and I do NOT care if griff or any other curmudgeon believes that or not.

    The REAL world of predators and prey is nasty, violent, hungry and wants a piece of your backside if it can get it. Peta’s example explicitly demonstrates that we humans are just as nasty as polar and grizzly bears and cougars and anything else that hunts prey. And those bears will go after whatever is easy to find and grab, including garbage truck drivers, just as soon as not. THAT has nothing to do with the availability of sea ice, period. In fact, I see ZERO ice in that video. I do see a garbage truck and a driver who should have at least had a means of spooking them off.

    • I have a friend in Russia, he wont visit Aus cos of our nasty beasties…spiders snakes sharks bluering octopus etc and the odd croc up nth
      compared to the ones that want to eat you like polar bears other bears large cats etc I sorta figure the odds are in Aussies favour
      most of ours cant chase you(crocs excepted)

    • We have urban coyotes in my area. Occasionally, a cougar makes the mistake of following deer trails south into the city, but there’s game everywhere around here and nothing goes hungry. You just can’t hunt in the area of suburban housing, and there is FAR too much of that now.

      We have turkey, pheasants, quail, geese, ducks, deer, and the DNR people have to do the hunting to control the deer population. The coyotes can’t keep up with them. There are also the occasional spottings of black bears and cougars, but it’s not enough to really keep the critters under control.

      There’s a reason Mother Nature created predators AND prey.

  9. I wish I knew how it ended. Brought up The Siberian Times link and no info either. I’ve read that polar bears are difficult to scare off.

    • Polar bears are apex predators and those at the top generally do as they wish. If they decide to come at you, unless you have a high caliber weapon and good aim, you will be toast. Squirting bear repellant on their nose just won’t do it.

      Even smaller black bears can be a handful. They normally will stay away from humans, but if they feel cornered, are startled or are really hungry you don’t want to be there. That also goes if you get between a mama bear and her cubs. Anyone that has been in a wilderness area with bears around are always paying attention.

      • I was sideswiped by a black bear one morning between Marysville and Shasta. (New Years morning … he shoulda been asleep … me too). The front fender was completely gone & the drivers side door jam was pushed back about 6″.

        The full sized Caprice was the last car left on the rental lot (it was also the first time I bought the rental insurance). The bear’s hump was about 18″ above the hood of the car; Until this I didn’t know that they could get as big as they do. The biggest are around 1,000 lbs.

        He ran full speed, 500 feet across a field, before he angled and hit me (I had slowed to about 25 mph). He must of had a hell of bad hibernation dream….

        Anybody or anything close to his size (600 to 700 lbs) would have been trashed. After a mile down the road I realized that the car wasn’t going to die so I turned around to see what happened to the bear … he left.

        • I hit a black bear, center of the frame rails on an F 150. Punched the bumper, radiator, radiator framing and fan into the block, cracked the block in 3 spots and broke engine mounts. Bear rolled several yards forward, lay there a few seconds, then ambled off into the woods a couple hundred yards before dying. Last vehicle I owned without deer whistle. Yea, they get bear’s attention, too.

          • A black bear, depending on age, is typically 500kgs. If you hit anything of that mass in a vehicle expect damage. In my experience it was cows, they are about the same mass.

          • They generally stand taller, more chance for one to come through the windshield. Had that happen around here last summer, driver and passenger both died on scene. Deer had taken down a section of electric fence and cows toddled on out to eat all the lovely grass on the sides of road.

      • As a matter of fact firing a shot in the air will work most of the time. But you better have a few more rounds for when it doesn’t.

        • I favor firing the shot in the bear, not the air. If you miss, you fired the round in the air, but have your rifle pointed in the right direction for the next shot.

  10. Polar Bears, like all other bears, are feeders of opportunity, when food of any type is available they eat it. I have seen home movies from Alaska when my uncles and cousins were working oil up there of Polar Bears in the trash dumps, grease pits, sheds and vehicles with anything edible left in them, carrying off coolers and lunch buckets. Also snuggling up to sleep next to anything warm. They can be quite comical, from a distance.

  11. Animals are all about efficient foraging. Whether it’s plankton, vegetation or meat. If they waste more energy than they get from the food, they die. Wherever there is edible garbage, animals will congregate to eat it and their populations will expand to fit the available supply. Birds, rats, racoons, Polar Bears. They congregate, eat it and get fat because it is easy to get and is usually high fat and high calorie. They don’t eat garbage from necessity, they eat it from preference. If it is easier to get than customary wild food, they’ll eat it. If there isn’t enough garbage to live off of, they hunt/eat wild stuff too. Your choice in which food source to call supplementary.

  12. Great video –nice way to start the day..they look so cute and cuddly..
    but looks are deceiving.
    I’m in the middle of the grizzly bear reintroduction area of W MT– as in you
    never go anywhere on foot without a gun and a dog or two. Hikers
    carry the bear spray but that just really just makes em really mad..some say
    It’s also said you haven’t lived till you cross paths with a grizzly with a snoot
    full of porcupine quills..The mt lions come down to the local where I live
    and hunt the deer, often leaving a carcass that then attracts the grizzlys.
    Hearing scavanger birds in the morning has a real meaning…
    Electric fences have gotten very popular. The government was live trapping
    and relocating problem bears but thats been halted due the problems that
    brings to another area.

    • Dan-O,
      I have always thought that if city folk want to bring back predators they should do it in their own neighborhood, not mine!
      We have been saddled with re-introduced wolves here in the mountains of the Southwest. Now deer, wild turkey and other game numbers are falling; and the local residents are considering building cages to protect their kids while waiting for the school bus!
      I never go hiking or biking without carrying at least a pistol and large knife for protection from predators, two-legged or four! Thank God they haven’t tried to bring grizzlies back down here; that’s a wholly different level of fire power required!

      • A M,
        I went to the wolf reintroduction hearing back in the 90’s. The greenies
        were getting up and telling everyone how the wolves only eat mice
        and the old and sick game animals..total load of twaddle. The impacts
        in this state are in the 100’$ of millions just on wildlife impacts . The elk
        herds in several areas stay on the winter range to avoid the wolves and
        don’t to their summer range so now the grizzlys are down in these areas
        hunting the elk..The winter range is the ranchers hay ground. It’s
        a mess and getting worse. One nearby ranch had to get shipping containers
        to store their grain in, the bears can tear apart the barns with no problem.

        Here’s a story on some local ranchers solution to the bears,,
        https://www.mtpr.org/post/how-these-fearless-dogs-help-keep-grizzlies-their-toes

        What is missing in the story is how the wolves kill dogs…

    • “Dan-O October 23, 2020 at 8:40 am

      I’m in the middle of the grizzly bear reintroduction area of W MT…”

      W MT would be West Montana? I dunno…just guessing!

  13. At present, Nova Zemlya is located well within bounds of the Arctic night.

    So either, the video footage was taken on the island but several months ago; or, it is current but taken much further south.

  14. Hate to burst everyone’s bubble, but those critters are Chernobyl RATS not bears;-} Chernobyl rats were forcibly moved to Siberia because they are GREEN garbage disposals and thereby a way to deprive bears of garbage.

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