Five Russian meteorologists working in the remote Troynoy island in Russia’s northern Kara Sea Islands have been trapped in their outpost by 10 polar bears, the Russian news agency TASS reported Tuesday. The scientists have not left their base for almost two weeks now and are apparently ill-equipped to scare the animals away.
The incident has prevented the scientists from working on some of their research in the remote weather station. According to the research team’s head Vadim Plotnikov, at least four bears can be seen from the base at any time.
“As of Saturday, a female bear has practically been sleeping under the Arctic station’s windows,” says Plotnikov. “Part of the hydro-meteorological observations have been suspended since the experts are obstructed from reaching the station platform and other observation points.”
Vasily Shevchenko, the head of the state observatory that manages the base, points out that the scientists have been in constant communication with the expedition members and are planning a delivery to the scientists.
The officials will most likely bring pyrotechnics and guard dogs to help scare the polar bears. However, this delivery will take about a month.
Still, Shevchenko advises the scientists to take some precautionary measures while the delivery is on the way. The state observatory adds, “We recommended the base personnel to tread carefully and with caution, not to leave the premises of the building, conducting only accessible observation.”
The Washington Post reports a similar incident that happened last year. Five polar bears also surrounded a Russian weather station on Vaygach island in Russia’s far north.
One of the scientists said that the bears slept near the houses. They were aggressive and were not easily scared off.
Apparently, an engineer of this team fired a small flare pistol but the polar bear was not even scared. Eventually, the flare scared off the bear but not far.