Bears who can’t sleep in winter

When the bears Wake up in winter, the inhabitants of Kamchatka know that trouble came. And call bear hunting Pavel Panfilov.
Eight-year-old brown bear weighing 300 kg came to the village in Kamchatka in December. He was hungry and smelled the food.

The bear who couldn’t sleep in the winter, it is better to destroy. “This is the 59th bear, which we had to shoot this year because he got too close to people”, — says the head of the Kamchatka forest service and the nature of the Vladimir Gordienko local media.

“When I have to kill a bear is to blame always the people,” says legendary bear hunter Pavel Panfilov from Kamchatka.

Bear hunter and conservationist from Kamchatka


Panfilov hunting for deer and lives by nature’s most part of his life once he completed his service in the army. When the terrified inhabitants of the Peninsula call the authorities of Kamchatka by a special phone — in case of occurrence of threat of bears, which operates around the clock, Panfilov, one of the hunters who come to the call.

“I can’t say exactly how many bears I shot. We hunters consider their first 40, then just throw to count. It’s bad luck,” says Panfilov.

He was 12 when he killed his first bear.

Paul not only bear hunter, he is also a writer, poet, photographer, fisherman, carpenter, sailor and environmentalist. 20 years served an officer in the Pacific fleet, and worked with the head of the security service of the Bank in Petropavlovsk.

But his main passion — wild, fantastic nature of Kamchatka, the fauna that attracts more and more tourists.

“Our nature is beautiful, pristine and the most untouched of this nature left in the world is not enough. Therefore, we must stop the destruction of rivers and forests that we see now. Too few people care about the environment that surrounds us,” — said Panfilov.

President Vladimir Putin has decided that 2017 will be Russia’s Year of ecology — after several major environmental scandals in recent years.

However, the environment is a question which not too concerned with most Russians, they are much more concerned about the economy, falling living standards and high prices.

Man vs bear in the country bears

In “bear country” Kamchatka approximately 18 thousand bears. For comparison, I must say that people there are approximately 320 thousand 270 thousand square kilometers. Bears here so numerous that 5% of all bears in the world are found at this Russian Peninsula.

In the last 15 years, the number of bears has increased significantly — thanks to the many successful measures to increase livestock. In some regions, the number of bears has doubled in comparison with 1990-mi for years, according to the Agency

“Bears are much more likely to attack people, such attacks will become even more” — warns the Russian hunting portal the N-Explorer. In the autumn of last year Russia has fiercely discussed question of quotas for hunting of bears.

In 2016 at least eight people were killed and nine seriously injured in attacks by bears in all of Russia.

One village in Siberia was simply surrounded by hungry bears.

One of the most dramatic stories related to bears on Kamchatka in recent years occurred in 2008, when exhausted 30 brown bears surrounded the mine, which produces platinum and killed two armed guards.

Last year, a former bodyguard of Putin talked about how a bear tried to break into the residence, where the Russian President is vacationing. The bear ran away when the bodyguard fired a warning shot.

She called home when a bear killed her

The correspondent of Aftenposten stopped in the village of Paratunka. This place is popular for its warm springs — water is heated by one of the 29 active volcanoes of the Peninsula.

The number of tourists on the Kamchatka Peninsula in recent years has increased dramatically, and all will want to see the bears.

A few kilometers from the city student-psychologist Olga Moskalyova and her father was killed in 2011 when headed to the river Paratunka fishing.

This story drew particular attention because Olga was able to call home to his mother and told what happened when she was attacked by a large brown bear.

When it arrived, the brother and the police, both father and daughter were dead.

On Christmas eve disgruntled parents have posted a video with the students in Bursana in Bashkortostan, who go to school with axes, in order to defend themselves from the bears on the road.

In Russian social networks are eager to share stories about their encounters with the bear is the national animal of Russia.

Fear of bears often gets extreme.

27 Dec several miners in Yakutia posted a video where they chased and killed the bear on the big truck “Ural”. The case is under investigation, workers are risking up to two years in prison and large fines.

How many bears are killed by poachers is unknown. Gallbladder bears a great demand, sell them to the Chinese as an aphrodisiac.

Therefore, bears do not sleep

For Pavel Panfilov is not some mystery why so many bears are waking up too early or appear at places where people live.

“They’re hungry. If they reached for the places where there are people, they can be dangerous. And then we often have no choice,” says Panfilov.

The environmental tragedy that is the lives of hundreds of bears annually, has several reasons:

— Warming. In whole regions of the Russian winter began several weeks shorter.

— The lack of fish and berries.

— Flooding has led to the fact that a large number of bears in the past year, left their usual habitats in the East Siberia and moved to the towns people places.

Often bears in dens awaken people — for example, those who ride scooters, snowmobiles and fly helicopters.

Strong snowmelt and the change in water level can lead to the fact that fish used to spawn.
Illegal fishing and private areas for fishing may also reduce the basis of the diet of bears, is afraid of the old bear hunter.

“The main source of food for Kamchatka bear — salmon. If the bears can’t get the fish, they die,” says Panfilov Aftenposten.

Bear hunter in the rage of human stupidity

“Colossal illegal mining and the growing commercial salmon fishing have greatly reduced the main food source of brown bears”, warns the society for the preservation of Russian wildlife, listing of the threat hanging over the population of brown bears in Kamchatka.

Another serious problem — over 20 thousand illegal dumps in Russia, most of which are located in Siberia and the far East. The bears learn to live off garbage.

“Illegal dump sites are to attack bears that bother our population. We need to clean,” warned the mayor of Magadan Yuriy grishan after several villages were simply attacked by the bears in 2016, according to RIA Novosti.

Kamchatka bears come to the waste dumps around the fish factories.

“It’s terrible. The most horrible thing you can imagine. If you give the bear food, you’re signing his death warrant. Bear — a unique, intelligent animal that learns and adapts to life,” says Panfilov.

Last summer, German and Russian researchers began a large project to find out why the big brown bears on the Kamchatka Peninsula become aggressive. In the autumn, Panfilov had to shoot a big brown bear, who settled near the dump.

“Scooters and helicopters also cause very great harm,” says the old bear hunter, which in the local newspaper urged to take action against mindless drive.

At the celebration in the garage on the Kamchatka Peninsula

Paul invites the correspondent of Aftenposten and their old friends to celebrate his birthday in garage No. 12 in the garage cooperative 227 in Petropavlovsk.

On the table — homemade sausage made from elk, venison sausage, bear claws, and salmon, Panfilov treats with vodka and berry wine, which he did. Panfilov reading their own poems comrades give him a new fishing rod.

“The bear signifies the end of the ecosystem that existed millions of years”, says Panfilov.

“If we destroy the bear, we destroy the basis of his own life”.