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Polar bear who kept oil workers alert moved to Arctic island

December 05, 2014, 19:45 UTC+3 ARKHANGELSK
The bear was airlifted to the northern part of the Vaigach Island
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ARKHANGELSK, December 5. /TASS/. The polar bear who has been hanging around an oil well in the Nenets autonomous district in northern Russia was airlifted to the Vaigach Island in the Arctic, a local official environmental said on Friday.

"The bear was airlifted to the northern part of Vaigach [some 150 kilometres away from the oil well]," Sergei Chibisov told TASS.

The three-year old bear was keeping the oil well's workers alert for six days and even attempted to sneak into their canteen. At first the bear was not aggressive but later attacked one of the employees.

After a failed attempt to scare away the beast by a helicopter, the 200-kilogram bear was tranquilised and airlifted to the Dolgy Island some 40 kilometers away from the oil field in a hope that she will adapt there.

However, the bear returned to the oil well three days later and a decision was made to take the animal to a more distant island.

The polar bear is on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The worldwide polar bear population is estimated at 20,000-25,000, with 5,000-7,000 bears living along Russia's Arctic coast. The polar bear hunt has been banned in Russia since 1957.

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