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Polar bears halt Arctic research in north Russia

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media captionFive bears settled near the weather station on the north Russian island of Vaygach, as Frankie McCamley reports

Pictures show how polar bears have besieged a team of Arctic meteorologists working in a remote corner of Russia.

The team has been unable to take daily sea readings after fights broke out over food between the bears who settled near the Fyodorov weather station, on Vaygach island in Russia's far north.

The team failed to scare the bears off with flares and have no other weapons.

The Russian government has pledged help, the WWF conservation group says.

Polar bears in Russia live all along the Arctic coast from Murmansk in the west to Chukotka in the east.

Scientists have observed a gradual rise in bear attacks on humans in recent years.

image copyrightVictor Nikiforov/WWF Russia
image captionFlares failed to scare the bears away
image copyrightVictor Nikiforov/WWF Russia
image captionThe bears have prevented the researchers carrying out their work
image copyrightVictor Nikiforov/WWF Russia
image captionThe team living in the remote station are awaiting better equipment to defend themselves

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