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Bears trap geologists in Russia
The team of geologists on Russia's seismically active Kamchatka peninsula refused to leave their camp after the bears showed up, a spokesman for the region's emergency services ministry said.
He said: "In the interests of safety they didn't come out to work - the people are scared by the invasion of bears."
A bear killed two geologists at the worksite on July 18, officials said.
Authorities on Kamchatka, nine time zones east of Moscow on the Pacific Ocean, said this year was remarkable for either too many bears or not enough fish.
"Either way there is not enough food," the spokesman said.
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.
It would then await government approval to shoot the bears.
The spokesman added: "It looks like a shoot by the hunters won't take place today as there is still no permission.
"As soon as we get the document from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky the hunters can get to work."
As many as 16,000 native brown bears, cousins of the American Grizzly, live on Kamchatka, an area twice the size of Britain.
An adult male can weigh 1,500 lbs (700kg) and stand 10ft (three metres) tall.
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