Being Alone On An Arctic Island Is Unsettling Enough Without Being Trapped By Bears

SEPTEMBER 15, 2016  —  By Corinne Sanders

I've had some pretty rough experiences before that I'd rather not relive.

But at least I can say that being imprisoned by bears isn't one of them. Yep, that's right -- for the last couple of weeks, Russian scientists weren't able to leave their outpost on a Siberian island because they were trapped by a vicious gang of polar bears.

It really doesn't get much worse than this.

The team had traveled to Troynoy, one of the Izvestiy Tsik Islands in the Kara Sea, to work on meteorological research. But at the end of August, something went horribly wrong.

The team had traveled to Troynoy, one of the Izvestiy Tsik Islands in the Kara Sea, to work on meteorological research.  But at the end of  August, something went horribly wrong.

iStock

One day, they woke up to find that their weather station was completely surrounded by polar bears that had been searching for food.

One day, they woke up to find that their weather station was completely surrounded by polar bears that had been searching for food.

iStock

There were 10 bears in total, including a few cubs and their mothers -- one of which slept right outside their window.

There were 10 bears in total, including a few cubs and their mothers -- one of which slept right outside their window.

iStock

Fearing for their lives, the five meteorologists stayed inside the station and gave up on visiting observation sites. They had run out of flares, which would have helped them scare the bears away.

Fearing for their lives, the five meteorologists stayed inside the station and gave up on visiting observation sites.  They had run out of flares, which would have helped them scare the bears away.

iStock

To their horror, a bear even killed one of the station's dogs.

To their horror, a bear even killed one of the station's dogs.

iStock

They were trapped for two weeks, waiting for the next supply ship to come in a month and bring more dogs and flares. Luckily, a research expedition vessel was passing by and stopped at the island to deliver the much-needed supplies. They were finally able to fend the bears off and resume their work.

They were trapped for two weeks, waiting for the next supply ship to come in a month and bring more dogs and flares.  Luckily, a research expedition vessel was passing by and stopped at the island to deliver the much-needed supplies.  They were finally able to fend the bears off and resume their work.

iStock

Unfortunately, this was not an isolated incident. Troynoy, along with other Russian islands, have had many occurrences of polar bears attacking researchers.

Unfortunately, this was not an isolated incident.  Troynoy, along with other Russian islands, have had many occurrences of polar bears attacking researchers.

iStock

It is believed that these encounters are becoming more frequent because the bears are losing their habitats and food to climate change and oil drilling.

<a target="_blank" href="http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/22823/0">It is believed</a> that these encounters are becoming more frequent because the bears are losing their habitats and food to climate change and oil drilling.

iStock

(via IFLScience)

I'm so glad that the group survived. Polar bears are cute and all, but this really puts things into perspective...

Giphy

 

Facebook Conversations