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230 polar bears show up for the lunch feast on Siberian island

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From a distance to tourists on passing ship Akademik Shokalskiy, it looked like a flock of sheep, but it soon became evident these were ravenous polar bears feasting on an unexpected meal, reported The Siberian Times (Russia).

Nature reserve rangers on the remote island calculated there were no less than 230 polar bears arriving to devour the food.

They included single males, single females, mothers with cubs and even two mothers with four cubs each.

The sight was an unexpected bonanza for tourists on the Finnish-built vessel on part of an epic Arctic voyage from Murmansk to Adadyr in Chukotka.

The group had made a layover on the island, famous as the last place on the planet inhabited by the extinct woolly mammoth.

Information on this unique gathering has been passed to the international scientific group that monitors Chukotka and Alaska's population of polar bears.

Members of the group and staff of the Wrangel Island nature reserve continue observations of this unusual polar bear conclave.

The island lies in the Arctic Ocean between the Chukchi Sea and East Siberian Sea.

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