Turkey: Hungry bears walk around the city center in search of food

Coming out of hibernation, grizzly bears were spotted walking through the center of the freezing cold city of Kars in northeastern Turkey, in search of food.

Grizzly bears travel about 350 kilometers (217 miles) in the summer to move to the forest in Savsat, Artvin on the Black Sea coast. They eat fruit there and return to the Sarikamis Karsu area to spend the winter.

After the winter in the Sarikamis forest, grizzly bears began to hibernate as the weather became warmer every day.

They go downtown with their cubs to find food, as the snow-covered forest land does not yet offer it.

Mustafa Karadeniz, manager of a seafood restaurant on the Erzurum-Kars highway, said grizzly bears were trying to feed on leftover fish and food.

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“They have started approaching our restaurant. We feed them, they do no harm to anyone. Once they are full, they return to the forest,” he said.

Karadeniz added that some citizens approached the bears so much that it was very dangerous. “Bears with their cubs can be more aggressive,” he warned.

Local resident Senai Wanley said grizzly bears came even in the neighborhood.

“Especially in the evenings they walk very freely. Right now the bear is looking for food right behind me; everyone should be careful, “he said.

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