Churchill Video of the Week – Polar Bear Hostages
Russian scientists were held captive on a small island off eastern Russia after they exhausted all their non – lethal flares and air horns. The group of five researchers had to endure two weeks of captivity in their compound on Troynoy Island inside the Arctic Circle.
On August 31, a polar bear killed one of the watch dogs at the meteorological station and then lingered at the site. Nine other adult polar bears and four cubs then set up camp and at one point an adult female bear was sleeping under the station. Vadim Plotnikov, a scientist at the station described the situation; “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,” Plotnikov said. “We had to stop some of the meteorological observations.”
Global warming and the resulting early sea – ice melt is being blamed by the research group.
“The bears usually go to other islands, but this year they didn’t. The ice receded quickly and the bears didn’t have time to swim to other islands,” stated a spokesperson for the team. “There’s no food … so they came up to the station.”