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Home* News and Stories → Several polar bears obser­ved near sett­le­ments

Several polar bears obser­ved near sett­le­ments

Several polar bears have been seen near Lon­gye­ar­by­en and other sett­le­ments in the past few weeks.

Polar bears look cute, but can be nas­ty when they are loo­king for food

Polar bears Longyearbyen

One of the bears – a 17-year-old male – had to be anesthe­ti­zed and trans­por­ted by heli­co­p­ter to Nord­aus­t­lan­det in the north-east of Spits­ber­gen, after devas­ta­ting several huts at Kap Lai­la River bet­ween Lon­gye­ar­by­en and Bar­ents­burg on 15 Sep­tem­ber. Polar bear expert Jon Aars from the Nor­we­gi­an Polar Insti­tu­te con­fir­med, that this was alrea­dy the bears second flight with a heli­co­p­ter. The polar bear was mar­ked as a cub and alrea­dy regis­tered in 2001, when he des­troy­ed a hut tog­e­ther with his bro­ther and mother. The mother was also obser­ved later in simi­lar burg­la­ries.

This is not an unusu­al beha­vi­or for a polar bear, says Jon Aars. Some polar bears even seem to have spe­cia­li­zed in hut burg­la­ries. But to stun the polar bears and fly them out can just be a short-term solu­ti­on. Last year in April a polar bear from Lon­gye­ar­by­en was flown to the island of Nord­aus­t­land several hund­red kilo­me­ters away. Only one year later he was back at the Isfjor­den.

At the begin­ning of Sep­tem­ber, a fema­le polar bear with two cubs was obser­ved at Rev­ne­set – a few kilo­me­ters north of Lon­gye­ar­by­en. Three attempts have alrea­dy been made to hunt them away by means of a heli­co­p­ter. The three bears retur­ned twice after a few days and reap­peared near Lon­gye­ar­by­en. After the third attempt, the bears have not yet been seen again.

Ano­t­her polar bear with two cubs was obser­ved near Svea and several bears were seen near Isfjord radio at Kapp Lin­né the last mon­th.

The fact that so many polar bears appe­ar in the vicini­ty of human sett­le­ments in such a short time does not occur too often, but is pro­bab­ly coin­ci­dence. Jon Aars belie­ves that such visits could occur more often in the future, as polar bears have been pro­tec­ted for many years. Gene­tic rese­arch shows that polar bears tend to visit the same are­as for several genera­ti­ons. Peop­le in Lon­gye­ar­by­en will pro­bab­ly have to get used to fre­quent visits of polar bears. Or the other way around.

Polar bear mum with cub

Polar bear Longyearbyen

Source: Sval­bard­pos­ten

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!

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last modification: 2017-09-27 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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