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Home* News and Stories → Polar bear again seen in Bol­terda­len

Polar bear again seen in Bol­terda­len

Out­door folks who want to get out near Lon­gye­ar­by­en can not yet return back to nor­mal (wha­te­ver that means in Spits­ber­gen any­way). The polar bear that gave a group of tou­rists and gui­des with dog sled­ges a good adre­na­lin rush on Wed­nes­day was seen again yes­ter­day (Thurs­day) after­noon.

On Wed­nes­day, the bear was pushed up Bol­terda­len and into Tverrda­len by the Sysselmannen’s heli­co­p­ter. The hope was that it would, after a rest, con­ti­nue sou­thwards. But the bear obvious­ly had dif­fe­rent ide­as and retur­ned to Bol­terda­len, whe­re it was met Thurs­day after­noon on Scott Tur­ner­breen (-gla­cier) by Tom­my Jor­dbru­dal and his col­league. Tom­my has been run­ning a small com­pa­ny offe­ring dog sledge trips in that area for many years and was out to check the con­di­ti­ons on the gla­cier, which is a popu­lar desti­na­ti­on for dog sledge excur­si­ons. Scott Tur­ner­breen has an acces­si­ble ice cave and the area is lar­ge­ly snow-mobi­le free: only locals are allo­wed to dri­ve the­re with snow mobi­les and even for them Bol­terda­len and a wide area around it are off limits for moto­ri­sed traf­fic from 01 March every year, mea­ning that locals and tou­rists can enjoy a silent area for silent excur­si­ons by ski or dog sledge.

But polar bears are not ban­ned from the area, so Tom­my and his col­leage sud­den­ly had a polar bear just a few metres away from them, inves­ti­ga­ting their snow mobi­le. Even a warning shot with a revol­ver did not make much of an impres­si­on on the bear.

Bolterdalen

Bol­terda­len (seen from Sol­eietop­pen): cur­r­ent­ly not a polar-bear-free area.
Scott Tur­ner­breen on the left hand side.

Tom­my has been run­ning trips in Bol­terda­len for 12 years now, so during the sea­son he and his gui­des are the­re on a very regu­lar­ly basis and he says that he has never seen a polar bear track or even a bear the­re befo­re. Now the Sys­sel­man­nen went out again by heli­co­p­ter, try­ing to sort the situa­ti­on out.

This aut­hor hopes that he does not have to wri­te again about inci­dents whe­re life, human or ani­mal, came to any harm.

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last modification: 2020-01-17 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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