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Home* News and Stories → Polar bear dead after anaesthetisation by scientists

Polar bear dead after anaesthetisation by scientists

Scientific field work on polar bears is usually anything but animal-friendly. Fotos and videos from polar bears being chased by helicopters have more than once been seen and met with critizism. As a personal observation, we hardly see polar bears anymore that have not been marked by scientists. Near-contact with scientists, which can safely be assumed by be a very stressful, if not traumatic experience, is thus likely to be the rule rather than the exception for Spitsbergen’s polar bears.

Recently, a polar bear did not survive the scientific treatment. A young male, 2 or 3 years old and physically in good shape, was found dead 2 days after anaesthetisation by scientists at Meodden on Edgeøya. A possible explanation is that the animal has moved from a sideway position. It was found lying on the stomach and had suffocated. Anaesthetisated polar bears are left behind lying on the side to prevent suffocation, but they are not monitored. Suffocation after changing the position or predation by other bears can accordingly never be excluded.

Has not survived its meeting with scientists: polar bear at Meodden, Edgeøya (© foto: Sysselmannen på Svalbard).

Polar bear, Meodden, Edgeøya

Source: Svalbardposten

last modification: 2014-07-01 · copyright: Rolf Stange