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Home* News and Stories → Polar bear fami­ly in Bjørn­da­len near Lon­gye­ar­by­en

Polar bear fami­ly in Bjørn­da­len near Lon­gye­ar­by­en

Today (Mon­day, 10 Sep­tem­ber), a polar bear fami­ly was seen near Ves­t­pyn­ten, not far from the air­port and camp­si­te at Lon­gye­ar­by­en. It was a fema­le bear with two first-year cubs, pro­bab­ly the same polar bears that were seen on Satur­day at Rev­ne­set, on the north side of Advent­fjord oppo­si­te of Lon­gye­ar­by­en. On Satur­day, the bears were cha­sed away by heli­co­p­ter towards Sas­sen­fjord, away rom Lon­gye­ar­by­en.

Polar bears inclu­ding fema­les with cubs regu­lar­ly cover lar­ge distan­ces. A walk inclu­ding lon­ger swim­ming distan­ces from Advent­fjord (Lon­gye­ar­by­en) to Sas­sen­fjord and back wit­hin 2 days is ful­ly rea­listic and nor­mal.

When the bears were seen near Ves­t­pyn­ten today around 16.00, both curious onloo­kers and the Sys­sel­man­nen (poli­ce) were soon on the sce­ne, as repor­ted by Sval­bard­pos­ten. The Sys­sel­man­nen fol­lo­wed the polar bear fami­ly by car slow­ly towards Bjørn­da­len fur­ther west.

The­re, hopes that the bears might con­ti­nue and disap­pe­ar from the Lon­gye­ar­by­en area soon vanis­hed in the haze, as the bears were seen fee­ding on a lar­ge wha­le car­cass, pos­si­b­ly from a sperm wha­le as appears on a pho­to taken by the Sys­sel­man­nen. This might pro­vi­de the bears in ques­ti­on with food for a lon­ger peri­od, if the wha­le does not start to float and drift away again. Chan­ces are also that the wha­le car­cass attracts fur­ther bears.

The Sys­sel­man­nen asks the public not to get clo­se to the bears and to be alert and to exer­cise usu­al safe­ty mea­su­res at any time in the field.

polar bears and whale carcass, Bjørndalen

Polar bear fami­ly with a solid meal in Bjørn­da­len near Lon­gye­ar­by­en, Mon­day (10 Sep­tem­ber) after­noon. Pho­to © Sys­sel­man­nen.

Update: the polar bears were sca­red away from the wha­le car­cass by the Sys­sel­man­nen later on Mon­day, as Sval­bard­pos­ten wro­te. The dead wha­le was towed into the fjord by Polar­sys­sel, the Sysselmannen’s ship, and the bears were sca­red and moved up into Bjørn­da­len.

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last modification: 2018-09-10 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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