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Polar bears besiege Russian Arctic weather station

A weather station on the remote Troynoy island had to stop some of the meteorological observations as a female bear was sleeping under the station’s windows

ARKHANGELSK, September 13. /TASS/. About a dozen polar bears have besieged a weather station located on the remote Troynoy island in the southern part of the Kara Sea, the station’s head told TASS on Monday.

"A female bear has been sleeping under the station’s windows since Saturday night. It’s dangerous to go out as we have run short of any means to scare off the predators," Vadim Plotnikov explained. "We had to stop some of the meteorological observations."

He said some ten adult bears, including four female bears with cubs, were spotted around the the weather station.

"On August 31, the bear killed one of our two dogs and has not left the station since then," he added.

Plotnikov said he had informed the Arkhangelsk-based Northern Meteorological Department of the bear dilemma but was advised to act independently.

The Mikhail Somov expedition vessel delivering cargo to Arctic weather stations will reach the island only in a month, while the station’s five staff members need flares to scare off the polar bears.

"The delivery of flares from the continent will require serious funds but we need help," he stressed.

Polar bears, the world’s largest land carnivores, are globally listed as endangered species. The current polar bear population stands at 20,000-25,000 and some 5,000-7,000 inhabit the Russian Arctic. The Soviet Union banned polar bear hunting back in 1956.