When bears attack

We’ve discussed before how geologists’ pursuit of the critical outcrop sometimes puts us in somewhat sticky situations, but in this story, rather scarily, its not so much a case of geologists ambling into danger as danger ambling towards them.

At least 30 hungry bears have trapped a group of geologists at their remote survey site in Russia’s far east after killing two of their co-workers last week, emergency officials said on Tuesday…

…Rampant fish poaching in the empty tundra of Russia’s farthest reaches sends hungry bear populations into populated centres every year, attracted to the food-rich garbage humans leave behind.

Officials said a helicopter ferrying officials and hunters could not fly in bad weather, but an all-terrain vehicle was on its way to the camp, where it would await government approval to shoot the bears.

I have a colleague who has done fieldwork in northern Canada and had his fair share of bear encounters whilst he was there, but his stories mainly involve just the one individual, which is apparently frightening enough. You can steer clear of or possibly intimidate one, but 30? It sounds like the plot of some cheap 50s horror movie. Hopefully these guys can get out without further casualties.

Categories: fieldwork, geohazards

Comments (4)

  1. Greg Laden says:

    This is extreme. I also have had colleagues and students who worked in the north (of Eurasia or N.A. amongst the brown bears, but rarely have trouble.
    Polar bears, on the other hand, are more trouble, normally.

  2. DDeden says:

    one story reports 2 geologists killed, another reports 2 mine guards were killed.

  3. quantum_flux says:

    It’s like Apollo 13 gone bad or something. It reminds me of that book Congo by Micheal Chrichton.

  4. djlactin says:

    reminds me of a news story i read loooooong ago. hunter was admitted to a hospital (alaska?) after he was mauled, and his companion killed, by a grizzly. the guy was hesitant to divulge the circumstances, but after a while, revealed that he and his buddy had been fishing across the river from the bear, caught a salmon, and decided to have some fun. they hooked the salmon on the rod and tossed it in front of the bear, then jerked it away just before the bear grabbed it. repeatedly.
    after a while the bear caught on, with understandable consequences.
    makes me wonder what ‘fun’ the geologists are having with the bears. (while wearing meat suits.)