Polar bears trap scientists on remote Russian island

(AAP / file)
(AAP / file)

A celebration of polar bears is keeping several meteorologists stuck on a remote island in the Arctic.

Five meteorologists have been trapped on one of the Izvestiy Tsik Islands, off Russia, for two weeks and things are starting to get desperate.

They'd been keeping the big animals at bay with flares. They've now run out.

Station supervisor Vasily Chevchenko admitted to NBC News the scientists are in the bears' home.

"We can't ban them from hanging around," he says. "Worst case, the station chief has a gun."

Shooting the bears would definitely be a last resort - because of their scarcity, it's illegal to shoot and kill a polar bear unless in self-defence.

Instead, the meteorologists are hoping to refill their supply of flares.

A boat is being sent from the weather bureau Arkhangelsk, which is around 1900 kilometres south of the islands, with more flares and other small explosives to scare away the bears, according to NBC News.

It's about a weeks' journey away so until then, the scientists will just have to sit tight.