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Daily Archives: 12. July 2010 − News & Stories


Two padd­lers and an bear

Two young Nor­we­gi­ans had set out to cir­cum­na­vi­ga­te the who­le archi­pe­la­go of Spits­ber­gen, inclu­ding Nord­aus­t­land, in their sea kayaks, but their jour­ney came to a very sud­den end on the north coast of Nord­aus­t­land, when they were taken by sur­pri­se by an aggres­si­ve polar bear in their tent during the night. The trip wire, which had been set up cor­rect­ly, was not trig­ge­red when the bear ent­e­red the camp and drag­ged one of the two young men out of his slee­ping bag and away from the camp. The second padd­ler mana­ged to shoot the bear soon. Both men were soon brought to hos­pi­tal with the governor’s heli­co­p­ter. The inju­ries of the one who was pul­led out of the tent by the bear were not serious and he reco­ve­r­ed quick­ly, as expec­ted.

It is still unknown why the trip wire had fai­led when the bear wal­ked through. Two pins were pul­led out of the mecha­nism, as they are sup­po­sed to, but the alarm mines did not explo­de. A few days ear­lier, some wind had been enough to trig­ger the alarm.

Two paddlers and an bear

During sum­mer, when the sea ice is retrea­ting from the coast, access to seals, their main prey, is more dif­fi­cult for polar bears. If they remain on shore, they will try to find car­r­i­on, bird eggs or anything else that is digesta­ble, which can make hungry bears dan­ge­rous also for man. In Spits­ber­gen, it is com­mon (and requi­red) to pro­tect camps with trip wire during the night. Alter­na­tively, dogs can ser­ve the same pur­po­se.

Source: Sval­bard­pos­ten and Sys­sel­man­nen

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