An orphaned polar bear that is moping around a remote settlement in Russia may "die of hunger" after its mother is feared to have been killed by poachers.

The bear, believed to be around three years old, recently showed up alone in the arctic settlement of Dikson, populated by 676 people, and has stationed itself in one place, barely moving.

Andrey Gorban, director of Roev Ruchey Zoo in Krasnoyarsk, has said that the cub requires assistance if it is to survive.

“This is the most disturbing thing,” Gorban told The Siberian Times, The Mirror reports.

“The bear cub looks well-groomed, very cute. This is also a hazard factor for the bear because until three years old, the cubs have not yet been trained by their mothers to hunt, they cannot feed themselves.

"There are very high risks that he will simply die of hunger."

The decision on what action to take has been referred to Rosprirodnadzor, Russia's wildlife watchdog, in Moscow.

There are disagreements among experts about whether the endangered bear should be taken into captivity or left to fend for its self.

Describing the current circumstances of the bear, Gorban said: “The bear just lies in one place, and practically does not go anywhere.

“Sometimes the dogs chase him. He gets up, disperses the dogs and lies back down again.”

“The fact that he is now handsome, well-groomed, well-fed indicates that the mother has recently disappeared.

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“And so he is still confused and shocked. He does not go anywhere and waits for his mother.”

Gorban believes that the bear should be taken into captivity, but this has been disputed by another expert.

Dr Nikita Ovsyanikov believes that the bear should fend for itself, and that whilst it is young, it has the capability to survive independently.

Dr Ovsyanikov urges locals not to feed the beast. "There is no need to take him to a nature park or a zoo,” he said.

"This cub has every chance to survive in its natural habitat.”

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