With a Can Stuck in Its Mouth, a Polar Bear Comes to People for Help

An emaciated polar bear with its tongue stuck in a can of condensed milk has been rescued, according to several Russian media outlets.

As Meduza and the NGS24RU reported, the polar bear wandered into the village of Dikson in Russia’s Krasnoyarsk Territory. It came close enough for village residents to take several close-up videos. In one of them, the bear approaches a window, seemingly for help. A man gingerly tries to help the creature by removing the can from its mouth. But the bear’s tongue is stuck in the can, and the man is unsuccessful.

Veterinarians from Moscow, including the chief veterinarian of the Moscow Zoo, were dispatched to Dikson to help the wounded animal. The Siberian Times reported that after sedating the 90kg bear, vets were able to remove the can and treat it for multiple cuts. The vets left plenty of fish next to the bear to aid in its recovery.

The animal will remain in the village for several days as veterinarians monitor its progress. Officials plan to release the bear into the wild once it recovers.

Sources variously reported its gender as male and female.

Where bears and people meet

Dikson is one of the world’s northernmost settlements, and polar bear/human encounters are frequent.

Open landfills are an ongoing problem for the safety of wildlife in the Arctic. Two large, unauthorized facilities in the Dikson area occupy 23,000 square metres of land and contain up to 60,000 cubic metres of waste.

Andrew Marshall

Andrew Marshall is an award-winning painter, photographer, and freelance writer. Andrew's essays, illustrations, photographs, and poems can be found scattered across the web and in a variety of extremely low-paying literary journals. You can find more of his work at www.andrewmarshallimages.com, @andrewmarshallimages on Instagram and Facebook, and @pawn_andrew on Twitter (for as long as that lasts).