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

Polar bear dead after anaesthetisation by scientists (II)

In September, a polar bear was found dead on Edgeøya after having been anaesthetisated two days earlier by scientists from the Norwegian Polar Institute. The bear had suffocated, most likely after having changed its position while still under influence of the anesthetics from a safe sideways position (see spitsbergen-svalbard.com news from September). Anaesthetisated polar bears are not further monitored after scientific investigations are finished, so there is always a latent risk of suffocation or predation by other bears.

The case of the dead polar bear from Edgeøya in September is now closed by the Sysselmannen as a legally not relevant incident.

The scientific work on polar bears which involves following them with helicopters and anaesthetisation is carried out in Spitsbergen on a large scale, as it enjoys political support from the Norwegian government. Most bears observed in Spitsbergen by tourists by now carry visible signs of such scientific work, including collars with sattelite trackers, ear marks, numbers or changed behaviour (such bears may at least temporarily react visibly more nervous and afraid on human presence, see spitsbergen-svalbard.com news from October 2012). Both extent and methods of this research are regularly met with critizism.

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

Eisbär, Meodden, Edgeøya

Source: Sysselmannen

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