After facing a one of a kind siege by a hoard of polar bears that carried on for more than two weeks, Russian scientists have finally come out unscathed.
The scientists were working on a project inside a weather station on the Arctic island when the incident happened. According to the Sevgidromet state monitoring network that owns the weather station, the scientists were rescued by a ship that was near the island that supplied the scientists with flares and dogs to ward off the bears.
According to a report by the Russian news agency TASS, a total of five scientists working on the weather station on Troyon island, located in the Kara Sea in the north of Siberia.
The scientists were approached and later encircled by nearly a dozen adult bears and their cubs.
One female bear had even mustered enough courage to approach the station, despite being guarded by dogs that were killed. The female spent the night under the safety of the station’s external shed.
The group of scientists quickly turned to repulsion techniques by using flares to scare off the predators. However, their concerns mounted when they eventually ran out of flares. The next supply of flares and other provisions was almost a month away and they were still surrounded by hungry bears.
The only hope for the stranded scientist was the Akademik Tryoknikov, which is the flagship of Russia’s research expedition fleet. The ship happened to be nearby and decided to make a stop at the island.
The crew inside the station has to carry a number of emergency equipment items other than flares, such as electronic sirens and firearms in case they got attacked by the wildlife.
A large portion of the weather based research carried out at the station involves the crew to step out of the safety of their station. The instructions for the scientists also clearly state that there must always be more than one person outside for safety.
Before the arrival of the rescue fleet, all the scientific research that involved going out in the open had to be abandoned. The crew were strictly advised to stay indoors no matter what and wait for help, The Guardian reported.
The authorities told the reporters that such incidents are not a rare occurrence in the region, as the Tronoy island is famously bear-infested. However, experts assert that this kind of ‘invasion’ by the polar bear is certainly a new development and is rather unheard of.
The hypothesis is that previously bears in the region were calm and kept their distance. However, the climate has changed and other environmental factors have made these seemingly introverted animals particularly aggressive and erratic.