Jinxed expedition flees to safety after being stalked by emaciated polar bear

Mirror Online 1 month ago

A jinxed Russian scientific expedition in the Arctic was forced to take refuge from a hungry polar bear by clambering onto the wreck of an old Soviet plane.

This followed last week’s drama when a furious walrus used its tusks to puncture and sink their naval inflatable.

A video from filmmaker and photographer Leonid Kruglov shows the latest alarming wildlife encounter for the explorers in isolated Franz Josef Land.

Members of the combined Northern Fleet and the Russian Geographical Society expedition were forced to clamber on the rusting hulk of an Antonov relic.

The Soviet plane wreckage that saved lives of the expedition members
Leonid Kruglov pictured during the expedition

They were held hostage on the wing as the polar came closer and stood guard.

Two of the party are visible with rifles - but it is illegal to shoot polar bears, so they had to wait for the polar bear too retreat.

One said: 'Is it coming?’

The other replied: ‘Yes it's coming, and fast’.

The emaciated polar bear stalked the expedition
The disturbing incident was captured on video

Kruglov said polar bears harassed the explorers almost every time they went ashore from their expedition ship.

Usually their drones scare away the animals.

“But this one was really hungry and quite emaciated, so it walked with determination … and had no intention to stop,” he posted.

“We had to escape on the wing of an old Soviet plane wreck.”

The incident in northern Russia

He also revealed new pictures of the female walrus’ damage to the inflatable.

The Northern Fleet boat later sank but those on board scrambled ashore after fighting off the sea beast.

The marooned group were later rescued after an emergency call to the expedition ship.

No-one was hurt in either encounter.

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