Weather Station Under Polar Bear Siege, Crew Told to “Stay Inside”

Posted: September 15, 2016 in Animals, News

NPR: Five people. Ten bears. One desperate call for help.

"Yoo-Hoo! Hellooo!"

“Yoo-Hoo! Hellooo!”

On a remote Arctic island, five researchers at a weather station found themselves “besieged” by polar bears over the weekend, Russia’s TASS news agency reports.

Vadim Plotnikov, the head of the weather station on Troynoy Island, told the news agency on Monday that the staff there had seen 10 adult bears around the station, as well as several cubs.

Two weeks ago, a polar bear ate one of the weather station’s two dogs — and hadn’t left the station since.

The female bear had been sleeping under the station’s windows for days, Plotnikov says.

“It’s dangerous to go out as we have run short of any means to scare off the predators,” Plotnikov told TASS. He explained that the station’s stockpile of flares had run out. Polar bear hunting is illegal in Russia, so shooting the bears wasn’t an option.

The next supply ship wasn’t scheduled to visit the island for another month.

Vassiliy Shevchenko, the network head, noted the bears would probably leave the island to hunt by the end of October or early November, anyway. He issued a recommendation to the weather station staff: Don’t leave the station unless you absolutely must.

Boy, network head Vassiliy Shevchenko sure was a lot of help, huh? Vadim Plotnikov and the boys are under a freakin’ polar bear siege and Vassily has two things to say. First, no big deal, the bears will leave in 6-weeks or so. Secondly, in the meantime don’t go outside. Gee, ya think? I’m sure the crew was planning a picnic out on the ice this weekend.

And hey, you’d think the law against polar bear hunting might be overlooked if one of them had, you know, eaten your dog and surrounded your weather station.

Good lord.


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