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Polar bear seen with graffiti on its side sparks outrage in Russia

A video showing a polar bear daubed with painted slogan T-34, the name of a Soviet era tank, has caused alarm in Russia with experts saying it could prevent the bear hunting.

Local media reported Tuesday that scientists had marked the bear because it was scavenging for food near a human-inhabited area in the Arctic region.

The video was posted on Facebook on Monday by Sergei Kavry, who works for the World Wildlife Fund in the Chukotka region.

He said he was concerned at the large letters daubed on the side of the bear, seen plodding through snow.

“Why? Why? He won’t be able to hunt inconspicuously,” Kavry wrote. Kavry said he found the video on a WhatsApp social media group and did not know where it was shot.

A senior researcher at the Institute of Biological Problems of the North in far eastern Russia, Anatoly Kochnev, told RIA Novosti news agency he did not know where the video was shot, but the letters could have been painted on by “jokers.”

“At first, until he cleans himself off, it will be hard for him to hunt,” the scientist said.

Severpress news agency, based in the Yamalo-Nenetsky region, some 2,000 kilometres (1,250 miles) northeast of Moscow, reported that the marks were put on by an expedition of scientists on Novaya Zemlya, a remote and sparsely populated Arctic archipelago.

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