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A team of Russian weather experts claim that their station on an ice-covered Arctic isle is "besieged" by polar bears, according to a report by Russian news agency TASS. The five researchers charged with staffing the outpost on Troynoy Island say that there are about 10 adult polar bears as well as cubs circling their base. A female polar bear spends nights perched outside the station's windows, making it dangerous for the scientists to exit. They have reportedly run out of flares and have lost at least one of their two dogs to the arctic beasts. The presence of the polar bears has made carrying out meteorological observations difficult, reports TASS. Russian law outlaws killing polar bears, a globally-listed endangered species, so scientists in the Arctic are mostly equipped with flares and guns with rubber bullets.
Vassiliy Shevchenko, the head of the organization that maintains the weather stations, said a ship with provisions is making its way to Troynoy Island to bring aid — including dogs and more flare guns — to the beleaguered scientists. But it will arrive a month from now. "Instructions were given to the Mikhail Somov expedition vessel that will reach the station in about a month," Shevchenko is quoted as saying, "to deliver dogs, as one of the station’s canines was killed by a bear, and also flares and other pyrotechnical devices needed to scare the animals away." On Wednesday, though, Shevchenko reported that a helicopter launched from another ship had reached the station and delivered new supplies, including three puppies to "scare away the bears." There are two married couples among the team of five at the base.
Russian scientists have driven away polar bears that besieged their weather station on an island in the Arctic Ocean for two weeks.
A nearby ship was able to reach the island and supply the scientists with dogs and flares to scare off the bears, said the Sevgidromet state monitoring network that owns the station.