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Russian scientists are 'besieged' by polar bears at Arctic post

| Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016, 10:51 p.m.

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 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.

A similar episode took place just a year ago. Five hungry polar bears circled a Russian weather station on Vaygach island in Russia's far north, preventing its staff from taking sea readings.

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