'Hungry' Polar Bears Surround Garbage Truck With Driver Inside in Heart-stopping Video

A heart-stopping video has emerged showing almost a dozen polar bears surrounding and climbing on top of a garbage truck in Russia, with the driver inside.

The video shows the vehicle parked on a snow-lined road as it is explored by what appears to be a family of around 10 bears, including at least two small cubs.

The Siberian Times shared the footage on YouTube on Wednesday, reporting the vehicle's military number plate suggested it could have been shot on the northern Russian Novaya Zemlya archipelago, which sits in the Arctic circle. The Siberian Times said it was not able to confirm this. Newsweek has contacted the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation for comment.

What attracted the animals to the truck is unknown, although it may have been the food in the garbage being transported.

Unlike most other bears that are omnivorous, polar bears are carnivores and mostly survive by hunting seals. They are also known to eat walruses, whale carcasses and bird eggs.

In the video, one animal can been seen sat in the open back end of the truck. Another bear then gets on its hind legs, and climbs up to join it. Then an even bigger bear is seen hoisting itself into the carriage. A third bear is shown pawing the back of the vehicle.

An enormous bear then stands on its back legs and looks into the truck through the windshield. The camera then pans to the side and another bear is filmed arriving.

The man shooting the video can be heard saying in Russian: "Look what's going on, the bears are hungry, now the fourth one is climbing inside," according to a translation by The Siberian Times.

When a bear hops up to look through the vehicle's front window, coming face-to-face with the driver, the person filming the video can be heard laughing and saying "oh!"

Even when someone beeps their horn, the bears are undeterred, with one jumping up to take a look at the garbage, and the others apparently unfazed. It is unclear how the driver got into the situation, or how the encounter concluded.

Such interactions between polar bears and humans in the Arctic will likely become more frequent, as the loss of sea ice changes the behavior of both animals and people, according to advocacy group Polar Bears International.

Climate change has led to a reduction in sea ice, robbing these predators of some of their hunting grounds and forcing the animals to find new ways to feed themselves.

This lead to officials in a remote part of Russia declaring a state of emergency last year after over 50 polar bears entered a town in search of food.

The incident was preceded by reports of a polar bear being spotted in the suburban area of Norilsk, a city in Siberia, hundreds of miles from its normal habitat. Oleg Krashevsky, a wildlife expert who filmed the bear, told CNN at the time it looked "very hungry, very thin and emaciated."

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A stock image shows a polar bear and a cub, unrelated to the incident with the garbage truck, on the Svalbard is a Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean. Getty