Hide the Children. The Polar Bears Have Invaded.

MOSCOW — Dozens of polar bears have laid siege to a modest military settlement deep inside the Russian Arctic, leaving residents afraid to send their children to school, or even open their front doors.

The settlement, Belushya Guba, on a finger of land stretching into the Arctic Ocean, has declared a state of emergency as the bears have attacked people, broken into homes, menaced schools along with feasted at a local dump.

Scenes caught on video of polar bears that will had come ashore, grunting along with strolling through the 2,000-person settlement, suggested a dramatic symbol of climate change. however though the receding Arctic ice has been forcing more bears off their preferred terrain, the idea was unclear if the latest invasion was caused by the warming seas, Russian scientists said.

While ecologists have for years warned of the risk to polar bears, the ones roaming Belushya Guba have been safe by at least one threat. Conservation authorities turned down a request by the settlement to shoot the bears, which are protected in Russia as an endangered species.

however Mr. Mordvintsev, who planned to leave Tuesday for Belushya Guba to more closely study the bears, said more data was needed to determine whether climate change played a role. The sea ice shifts often, along with will be affected by a range of factors.

The bears prefer ice however also use islands along with shorelines to move about the Arctic. Polar bears migrate seasonally along the coastlines of Novaya Zemlya, he said, with the timing of their movements along with concentrations dependent on sea ice conditions. The migration “will be not a completely new phenomenon,” he said.

along with neither are ill-advised human actions that will can lure the bears. Along their migration route, the animals encountered the open dump at Belushya Guba, where the military apparently had disregarded strict rules on garbage disposal imposed on oil along with mining companies along with others working inside the Russian Far North.

Such restrictions are intended to prevent just the sort of encounters that will are currently terrorizing the settlement. “The bear will be a curious animal, along with the idea will smell the human food,” Mr. Mordvintsev said. “This particular will be an anthropogenic problem.”