Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Russian Meteorologists Are Trapped By Polar Bears 2,800 Miles From Moscow

Sometimes you can't get out of the office because your email inbox is overflowing. Sometimes it's because there's a pack of deadly polar bears outside the door. Five meteorologists posted on a remote Russian island have been trapped for nearly two weeks by polar bears who've swarmed the area. Their weather station is on one of the Izvestiy TSIK Islands in the high Arctic — 2,800 miles from Moscow and closer to northern Canada than the Russian capital. Polar bears are not uncommon in the area, which is surrounded by pack ice in the winter, but the local population has more than doubled this year to around a dozen. And the stranded meteorologists have run out of the flares they use to scare off the beasts. "The bears live in the Arctic, you know — we can't ban them from hanging around," station supervisor Vasily Shevchenko told NBC News by telephone from the northern city of Arkhangelsk. "Worst case, the station chief has a gun." Some of the bears have taken to sleeping right outside the windows of the remote outpost, according to Russian news agency TASS, which spoke to some of the meteorologists via satellite phone. Since going outside amidst the animals is out of the question, the meteorologists have had to abandon some of their work...more

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