A team of Arctic researchers have become trapped in their Russian base after being surrounded by a pack of aggressive polar bears.
The meteorologists have appealed for help after fights broke out between the animals in their search for food near the Fyodorov weather station.
They have struggled to scare them away with flares, have no other weapons and the area is not fenced off.
One team member told Sky News: "They sleep near the houses. Two of them move around together.
"The remaining one, he's aggressive. (He) recently grappled with them, fighting near our house.
"Our mechanic fired a small rocket that is used by hunters to signal, but the bear did not even seem scared.
"Using flares, he was able to drive it away, but it was close."
The team - two female meteorologists and a mechanic - are based on Vaygach Island in the Arctic Sea in the Nenets Autonomous Okrug region.
They normally leave the station twice a day to take readings from the sea as part of their research into changes in polar weather, but have been unable to do so.
Victor Nikiforov, a polar bear expert for the World Wide Fund for Nature, said he visited the team two weeks ago, but no one has been able to reach them since.
He told the BBC: "It's not a problem that the polar bear is here. It is territory for the polar bear.
"But the critical situation is that they don't have enough equipment to avoid the polar bear."The WWF says the Russian government has pledged to help.
There has been an increase in polar bear attacks on humans in recent years as global warming causes them to range further for prey.
- Daily Telegraph