Polar bears hold Russian scientists hostage on tiny Arctic island

A group of Russian scientists have been trapped for two weeks by polar bears at an Arctic island weather station. The scientists face a month-long wait for a rescue.

Five scientists based at a weather station on Troynoy Island in the Kara sea north of Siberia were surrounded by the group of 10 adults and cubs about two weeks ago, Russian news agency TASS reported on Monday. They will be shipped dogs for protection, as well as flares, said the head of the Russian agency that controls the station.


From the Guardian:

Vassiliy Shevchenko, the head of the Sevgidromet state monitoring network that owns the station, told TASS on Tuesday that staff would be sent dogs for protection and flares via the Mikhail Somov expedition vessel.

That was due to reach the station in "about a month", he said, though the possibility of sending flares earlier was under consideration.

In the meantime, personnel had been advised to "use extreme caution" and to remain inside the station in all but the most serious circumstances.

Meteorological work that required going out to observation sites had also been abandoned. Shevchenko told TASS that the event was not without precedent. "Things like this have happened before on the Troynoy island because bears inhabit the area and people work there."

MORE: "Russian scientists besieged by polar bears to get dogs and flares for protection," ITAR-TASS