Stranded bears rescued from rising floodwaters in Russia

Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - 9:59am

Stranded bears were rescued from rising floodwaters, cage and all, on Monday as workers from the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations airlifted the animals out of the resort of Zelyonaya, near Blagoveshensk in a daring operation.

The bears, although relatively calm, splashed through their cage and bit down on the bars of the cage as emergency workers prepared to evacuate the omnivores.

Floodwaters affecting the Amur, Khabarovsk and Jewish Autonomous Regions reached a historic 120 year peak on Sunday, capping off at 657 centimetres (21.5 feet). Although no fatalities have reported, up to 100,000 people may be forced to evacuate while about 17,000 residents have already left the area over the disaster. Over 200 tons of relief cargoes are being delivered by aircraft to the affected regions.

Authorities fear that the water level has the potential to hit the seven metre mark by the end of August.

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