In one of the most eastern part of Russian Arctic, there lies a deserted island in which polar bears have taken over. Russian photographer Dmitry Kokh has recently released a bunch of beautiful images that show the animals roaming free among the town’s buildings.
The animals inhabit a meteorological station that has remained abandoned since the 1990s and is situated on an island between Alaska and Russia, one that Kokh says is difficult to travel to.
We sailed by yacht along the coast and covered more than 1,200 miles of untouched landscapes, villages lost in time, spots with various fauna, and seas full of life.
He explains that it was when he and his team were passing through the Kolyuchin Island near the northern coast of Chukotka, they spotted the animals. “We saw some movements in the windows of the abandoned windows there,” Kokh recalls. “And when we got close — those were bears!”
The island itself is only 2.8 miles (4.5 km) long, and just 0.93 miles (1.5 km) wide. Russia Beyond notes that Soviet scientists built a polar station in 1934, which was in operation until 1992, but that the island has remained uninhabited ever since.
Kokh’s polar bear images have rightfully received recognition, with one from the series-winning Best Image of Wildlife in an Anthropogenic Environment” in a 2021 Russian photography contest, a competition organized by National Geographic.
Images used with permission.