MOSCOW (AP) — A polar bear which was found roaming around a village in eastern Russia, hundreds of miles away from its usual habitat, has been airlifted back home.
The exhausted-looking animal apparently traveled on an ice floe from the remote, sparsely populated Chukotka to a village on Kamchatka, about 700 kilometers (434 miles) south when it was found.
Russian emergency authorities on Monday mounted an operation to repatriate the bear. A member of the response team shot a tranquilizer at the bear and put it in a container and onto a helicopter which flew to the snow-covered Chukotka. The bear was then released into the wild.
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Environmentalists say that wild animals such as polar bear are suffering from the shrinking hunting environment and the receding ice as the Arctic is getting warmer.
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