On an island between Russia and Alaska, in the abandoned buildings of a meteorological station, polar bears have taken over.
In September Russian photographer Dmitry Kokh boarded a yacht and sailed 2,000kmm across the Chukchi Sea, through some of the most Eastern parts of the Russian Arctic.
Initially, Kokh set out to photograph Wrangel Island, which was notorious for its bear population. However, he would discover the massive arctic animals in a far less likely location.
"Nature [is] always sending you something when you least expect it," Kokh said of the discovery.
"When we passed through the Kolyuchin Island near the Northern coast of Chukotka, we saw some movements in the windows of the abandoned windows there and when we got close — those were bears!"
The buildings were constructed in the 1930s and abandoned in the 1990s but Kokh said this was the first time the unusual residents had been sighted, an experience he described as "once-in-a-lifetime" to DIYPhotography.
Polar bears are quite a curious guys," he wrote on an Instagram post featuring one of the images.
"It could be good for photographer or could be not, depending on the situation."
Grabbing his camera, Kokh then shot a series of images, one of which won a National Geographic award for "Best Image of Wildlife in an Anthropogenic Environment" in a 2021 Russian photography contest.
While the bears seem nonplussed about the state of their new home, Kokh voiced his disappointment at how the coastlines had become a dumping ground for trash.
"There're around 12 millions abandoned fuel barrels scattered along the coast," Kohn recently wrote on social media.
"In Soviet time they brought the barrels, and after the fuel was used, they dropped barrels all over the place. Plus abandoned villages, construction trash and so on. And it's way too expensive to clean everything now."