Polar bears trapped 5 scientists based at a weather station on a tiny island in the Arctic Ocean over the past 2 weeks. Initially, help was expected to arrive in about a month but a research vessel took a detour and helped the trapped Russian meteorologists on Tuesday night, September 13, 2016.
The vessel, chartered by Rosneft, chased away the beasts. With the assistance from a helicopter crew, flares and 3 puppies were delivered to the station, as reported by NBC News.
Located approximately 2,800 miles from Moscow, the small Russian island dubbed as the Troynoy Island is home to Sevgidromet State Monitoring Network's weather station.
The normal work week in the office has turned scary for the Russian meteorologists since the polar bears are dangerously close to them.
On August 31, the polar bears already killed two canines of the weather station, according to CNN.
«We have issued a recommendation for the station's personnel to use extreme caution, not to leave the station without a serious need and continue only with possible meteorological observations,» said Vassiliy Shevchenko, head of the Sevgidromet State Monitoring Network.
Originally, Shevchenko said that help would reach the scientists in about a month. Some polar bears have even slept right outside the outpost's windows. The stranded scientists have run out of flares to scare the animals away. Thus, some of their meteorological observations that require them to go out were abandoned.
It's not unusual for polar bears to be roaming close to human outposts in the Arctic Ocean. This year, the number of bears has increased, possibly due to climate change. By the end of October 2016, the waters will freeze and eventually, the polar bears will leave the island seeking for food.
Sergey Donskoy, the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of Russia, has given instructions to Rosgidromet, the federal weather-watching service, to make sure the island is secured.
Polar bear encounters are deemed dangerous and it's not the first time these animals swarmed near human settlements.