Thursday, July 24, 2008

I wonder if this qualifies for Workers Compensation?

It's reported from Kamchatka, Russia, that hungry bears are turning to a new source of protein.

Bad weather is thwarting efforts to rescue a group of mine workers trapped by hungry bears in Russia's wild far eastern region of Kamchatka.

The bears have already eaten two of the workers.

The bears - apparently starving - killed the men on July 17, it was reported in Russia. As many as 30 bears have surrounded a platinum mine. Both victims worked at the mine as security guards.

About 400 geologists and miners are refusing to return to work, afraid of further attacks. Attempts by local officials to fly to the scene by helicopter and shoot the bears have so far failed because of poor weather, it was reported.

Kamchatka, 12,000 kilometres east of Moscow on Russia's Pacific coast, is one of the world's last great natural wilderness areas. The remote volcanic peninsula is home to the rare Steller's sea eagle, puffins, and brown bears that roam its geysers and snow-covered collapsed volcanoes.

Kamchatka's 12,000-strong bear population is the largest in Eurasia. Recently, however, the bears have faced unprecedented ecological pressures.

Poaching has led to a dramatic decline in the bear's main food source - the Pacific salmon.

Kamchatka is home to a quarter of the world's salmon, but they are disappearing. Poachers have cleaned out entire species by netting rivers.

I would suggest that they hire Timothy Treadwell to parley with the bears - but he already found out the hard way that humans aren't all that high up the food chain. Seems the Russian geologists and mine guards are learning the same lesson.



phlegmfatale said...

That's some high-toned eating, poached salmon, but I like it better smoked. Maybe bear needs to be put on some more menus, eh?

Brigid said...

Why can't I get that Far Side cartoon out of my head, with the men sleeping in their sleeping bags by the fire in the woods, and the bears looking on and saying "mmmmm. Sandwiches!"

Rogue Medic said...

Nobody making bear arms puns?

What is the world coming to?

Arm the workers, teach them to use the weapons properly, and the problem can be dealt with.

Eventually the bear to salmon ratio should change in a way that makes this less common.