Hungry polar bear found wandering in Russia industrial city

Polar bears are increasingly wandering into human-inhabited areas in northern Russia as climate change and regional development affect their habitat and food supply  (AFP Photo/Alexander GRIR)

Moscow (AFP) - A hungry polar bear has been spotted on the outskirts of the Russian industrial city of Norilsk, hundreds of miles from its natural habitat, authorities said Tuesday.

Images of the visibly exhausted animal roaming the roads of the Arctic city in search of food have been widely shared on social media in Russia.

"He is still moving around a factory, under observation by police and the emergency services, who are ensuring his safety and those of residents," environmental services official Alexander Korobkin told AFP.

The bear was first spotted on Sunday evening in an industrial area northeast of central Norilsk, Korobkin said.

A team of specialists are set to arrive Wednesday to inspect the animal and decide its fate.

Polar bears are increasingly wandering into human-inhabited areas in northern Russia as climate change and regional development affect their own habitat and food supply.

However such sightings so far away from the ice are rare.

In February, a state of emergency was declared after dozens of the animals approached a village in the far northern Novaya Zemlya archipelago, with several exploring streets and buildings.