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Home* News and Stories → Pri­son sen­tence for dis­tur­bing polar bears in Bill­efjord by dri­ving car on ice

Pri­son sen­tence for dis­tur­bing polar bears in Bill­efjord by dri­ving car on ice

A Nor­we­gi­an court has deli­ve­r­ed a jud­ge­ment in the case of a man who dis­tur­bed polar bears in Bill­efjor­den ear­lier this year by dri­ving on the fjord ice by car.

The 58 year old Ukrai­ni­an citi­zen was living and working in Pyra­mi­den. He went out on the fjord ice by car to pick up two col­leagues who had been on tour. Ins­tead of going direct­ly back to Pyra­mi­den, they deci­ded to take a turn into neigh­bou­ring Petu­nia­buk­ta to check the con­di­ti­on of a hut. Accord­ing to the dri­ver, he was not awa­re of the pre­sence of two polar bears who were mating at the time in ques­ti­on. He saw the bears at a distance of 50 metres and stop­ped immedia­te­ly. The polar bears aban­do­ned their mating.

Polar bears on fjord ice

Polar bear fami­ly on fjord ice in Isfjord.

The Ukrai­ni­an dri­ver did not have a driver’s licen­se, this had been with­drawn by Nor­we­gi­an aut­ho­ri­ties ear­lier this year becau­se of other traf­fic offen­ces. Accord­ing to the Sys­sel­man­nen, this con­tri­bu­t­ed to the cur­rent court jud­ge­ment, tog­e­ther with the fact that it is gene­ral­ly not allo­wed to dri­ve a car on fjord ice (or any­whe­re else other than on roads) in Spits­ber­gen. Dis­tur­bing of the polar bears alo­ne would not have been suf­fi­ci­ent for a pri­son sen­tence.

The man was sen­ten­ced to 30 days of pri­son without pro­ba­ti­on.

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: 2018-11-03 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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