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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



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