spitzbergen-3
fb  Spitsbergen Panoramas - 360-degree panoramas  de  en  nb  Spitsbergen Shop  
Marker
Home* News and Stories → Polar bear freed from nylon noo­se

Polar bear freed from nylon noose

A polar bear being obser­ved some weeks ago in Nort­hern Spits­ber­gen with a thin nylon rope around its neck was now loca­ted and freed from the noo­se by mem­bers of the Nor­we­gi­an Polar Insti­tu­te. The case illus­tra­tes the dan­ger for arc­tic wild­life occur­ring by the incre­a­sing amount of plastic was­te floa­ting in the sea and being was­hed ashore.

It was in the end of June as the polar bear was seen and pho­to­gra­phed for the first time in Woodfjord by mem­bers of a boat trip on the »Arc­ti­ca II«. The sailors infor­med the Sys­sel­mann, who star­ted to look out for the bear and asked for report in case of anyo­ne see­ing it. Pres­um­a­b­ly the thin rope around the animal’s neck ori­gi­nal­ly was part of a trawl net. It was tied to a solid noo­se and the loo­se end hang about one meter to the ground. For­tu­n­a­te­ly the noo­se was not too tight so that the bear was not direct­ly hurt or han­di­cap­ped in breat­hing. The Sysselmann´s experts saw the grea­test dan­ger for the polar bear in taking much food in a short peri­od of time, when for examp­le fin­ding a cada­ver or hun­ting a seal. In this case it could gain weight quick­ly and the noo­se would get tigh­ter and strang­le the bear’s neck and cut into the skin.

The chan­ce to find a sin­gle indi­vi­du­al in such a lar­ge, deser­ted area usual­ly is very low. So it was a lucky inci­dent as on 22nd of July the Sys­sel­mann got the report of the bear being seen clo­se to the trap­per sta­ti­on on Aus­t­fj­ord­nes in inner Wij­defjord. On the same day mem­bers of the Nor­we­gi­an Polar Insti­tu­te arri­ved the­re with a heli­co­p­ter. They could find the bear and anesthe­ti­ze it. After remo­ving the noo­se and exami­ning the bear, the rese­ar­chers made sure that the ani­mal woke up and star­ted moving again.

The polar bear was lucky being found and being a polar bear. Such an exten­si­ve ope­ra­ti­on would not have been star­ted for a rein­de­er or for a sin­gle bird. Espe­cial­ly some sorts of birds face ano­t­her thread from the plastic was­te: They swal­low small plastic pie­ces which will not be digested and can lead to the animal’s death. A recent sur­vey among nort­hern ful­mars on Spits­ber­gen has shown that 90% of the birds have small plastic pie­ces in their sto­machs.

Stran­ded plastic was­te can turn into a trap for wild ani­mals

n_f6m_Mushamna_07Aug13_060

(On the plastic pol­lu­ti­on pro­blem see also »The Oce­an Cleanup: solu­ti­on for the glo­bal plastic pol­lu­ti­on pro­blem« Spitsbergen-Svalbard.com news from June 2014)

Source: Nor­we­gi­an Polar Insti­tu­te

By the way, my new book is in print and it can now be orde­red 🙂 it is a pho­to book with the tit­le “Nor­we­gens ark­ti­scher Nor­den (1): Spitz­ber­gen – vom Polar­licht bis zur Mit­ter­nachts­son­ne”, with Ger­man text Click here for fur­ther details!

Back

BOOKS, CALENDAR, POSTCARDS AND MORE

This and other publishing products of the Spitsbergen publishing house in the Spitsbergen-Shop.

last modification: 2014-08-06 · copyright: Rolf Stange
css.php