Arctic researchers in northern Russia have been taken hostage after five polar bears surrounded their weather research station.
“People living in the Arctic must be prepared to face with a polar bear,” researcher Viktor Nikiforov said in a statement. “However, the station staff have no weapons. In addition, employees are not provided with stripping, and the station area is not fenced.”
The World Wide Fund for Nature in Russia (WWF) has been monitoring the situation. According to CNN, the researchers have been unable to scare the polar bears away. The only thing they have at their disposal to scare the bears are flares. Attempts to use the flares, however, have been unsuccessful. The research base is located on a small island off the northern coast of Russia.
“Yesterday came the bear is near the house,” one researchers said in a statement. “Three times a mechanic fired a signal of the hunter (a small rocket launcher), as the bear did not even scared. Flare was able to drive away, and the close. ”
The two meteorologists and engineer on the research team have been unable to perform their duties. This includes walking several hundred meters to the sea to measure water temperatures. The bears spend all their time around the station. They sleep there and even fight with one another.
WWF has been appealing to the Russian government to provide the researchers the necessary equipment and means to scare the polar bears away. The Daily Mail Online reports the Russian government has pledged to help. According to CBS News, encounters by polar bears has increased recently do to global warming.
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