Scientists rescued from polar bears in Arctic

This is not one of the polar bears that trapped the Russian scientists

Story highlights

  • Five Russian meteorologists trapped on tiny Troynoy island have been rescued
  • Dogs and flares were sent to scare off 10 polar bears that surrounded them

(CNN)Five Russian meteorologists who were trapped on a tiny island by 10 polar bears for two weeks have finally been rescued after dogs and flares scared the bears away.

The drama began at the Arctic weather station on Troynoy Island on August 31, when a polar bear killed one of the two dogs there, according to Vadim Plotnikov, head of the station.
    Plotnikov told Tass, the Russian state news agency, 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.
    "We had to stop some of the meteorological observations."
    Plotnikov said 10 adult bears, including four females with cubs, were spotted around the station.
    Sergey Donskoy, Russia's minister of natural resources and environment, instructed the country's federal weather-watching service to ensure the security of the Troynoy island personnel, according to Tass.
    Five people, two married couples among them, work there.
    Help finally arrived Wednesday, reported the agency, when dogs and flares delivered to the station by helicopter scared the bears away.
    Vassiliy Shevchenko, the head of the Sevgidromet State Monitoring Network, which owns the station, told Tass: "A helicopter that took off from the Akademik Treshnikov expedition vessel of the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute of the Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring has delivered three puppies and pyrotechnical devices to the station to scare the bears away."
    The vessel's crew members reported that they helped to frighten away the bears away.
    Meteorological operations have now started back up, Plotnikov told Tass.
    Polar bears are registered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and in the Red Book of Russia as an endangered species. Hunting of them has been banned in Russia since 1956.