The Russian branch of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) released a report in August warning that residents of the coastal village of Ryrkaipiy in Chukotka had begun to "encounter polar bears near the settlement".
Drone footage has captured a pack of polar bears feasting on walrus carcasses near a village in far east Russian Federation.
"If the ice was strong enough, the bears, or at least some of them, would have already gone to sea, where they could hunt for seals or sea hares", said Mikhail Stishov, coordinator of WWF-Russia projects for the conservation of Arctic biodiversity.
There were concerns they could enter the village, home to fewer than 1,000 people, and patrols had been set up to monitor their movements.
Anatoly Kochnev, a senior researcher at the Russian Academy of Sciences, told Russian state news agency RIA Novosti that, while the black paint is likely to wash off, the polar bear might find it hard in the meantime to use its coat as camouflage while hunting.
According to the head of the bear patrol Tatyana Minenko, the bears "are all thin" and are "both adult and young animals".
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"The main reason is the decline of sea ice area due to the changing climate".
Locals in the village, population 600, are not surprised by an occasional polar bear visit but the size of the bear party this time is unusual, the fund said.
"Spontaneous waste deposits can attract the animals - bears will go for the smell of food waste, regardless of the availability of other food".
"As long as there is no big freeze, the sea ice will not form and the bears will stay on the coast", she said. "We need to adapt to this so that neither people nor bears suffer".
Children are also forced to take specially scheduled buses to school.
With their normal food sources depleted, the polar bears have been seen eating walrus carcasses that have been on the shore since last month.