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‘Hungry bear’ incursion suspends popular tourist route in Russia’s Far East

This is explained by the lack of red salmon in a local lake, which is a major food source for the bears

PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY, August 12. /TASS/. The management of a nature reserve in Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula has suspended a popular tourist route over the growing numbers of hungry bears encroaching on the area.

"The route along the Khakytsin River in the southern Kamchatka nature reserve has been temporarily closed," a spokesperson for the nature reserve said, noting that this is due to the lack of red salmon in a local lake, which is a major food source for the bears.

"Along the coast of the river, where there is a popular tourist route dubbed ‘The mysteries of Khakytsin’ a large number of hungry predators has been spotted," the spokesperson noted.

The bears, who are used to having plenty of salmon during this season, have been amassing on the coast of the river looking for food. Up to 70 bears have been spotted along a 4-km stretch. "The hungry predators have been behaving aggressively."

Last week, a male bear, who was finishing his prey, bolted towards a group of scientists. The bear lunged at them from the bushes at the distance of five meters, but at the very last moment he turned aside.

Unless the problem with the lack of red salmon is solved, tourist programs along the Kurile Lake, one of Kamchatka’s most popular tourist destinations, will have to be terminated, experts say.