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#Science

Research team trapped on island after being surrounded by polar bears

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A team of unarmed researchers have been trapped in their research station on a remote Russian island after being surrounded by a group of aggressive polar bears.

The team got stranded after fights broke out over food between the bears who settled near the Fyodorov weather station, on Vaygach Island in the Arctic Sea in the Nenets Autonomous Okrug region.

The research team, which consists of two meteorologists and an engineer, failed to scare the bears off with flares and have no other weapons. The scientists normally leave the station twice a day to take readings from the sea as part of their research into changes in polar weather; however the bears are not allowing them to carry out their work.

The trapped meteorologist told WWF Russia that the bears have started sleeping near their hut, behaving aggressively and fighting one another over food. He said that they tried firing three flare signals towards the bears, however the bears were “not even scared”.

What’s worse is that there are no fences surrounding the station to prevent the bears from coming near the building.

The charity WWF has now called out the Russian government to provide the weather station with the “necessary equipment and means of scaring the polar bears.”

It is a matter of great concern that polar bear attacks on humans has increased in recent years as that global warming causes them to range further for prey.

The mammals are currently listed as endangered and researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey have estimated that two-thirds of polar bears will be gone by 2050.