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Daily Archives: 31. January 2020 − News & Stories


Anaes­the­ti­sed polar bear died during trans­port

The polar bear that was anaes­the­ti­sed and flown out last night died during the trans­port in the heli­c­op­ter, accor­ding to the Sys­sel­man­nen.

The cau­se of death is curr­ent­ly unknown. A post­mor­tem exami­na­ti­on is expec­ted to cla­ri­fy this within a few days.

Betäubter Eisbär

An anaes­the­ti­sed bear during pre­pa­ra­ti­ons for a heli­c­op­ter flight to Nord­aus­t­land (archi­ve image, 2016).

The bear is said to have been a fema­le that was not tag­ged.

The­re is always a remai­ning risk inher­ent to anaes­the­sy, espe­ci­al­ly as the weight and health con­di­ti­on of the “pati­ent” are most­ly unknown or can, at best, be rough­ly esti­ma­ted, some­thing that must obvious­ly have been dif­fi­cult last night in dark­ness.

Any­thing bey­ond this is mere spe­cu­la­ti­on at the time being until the results of the post­mor­tem are available.

Again polar bear in Lon­gye­ar­by­en area, flown out

Again, a polar bear show­ed up in the Lon­gye­ar­by­en area. The bear was seen yes­ter­day (Thurs­day, 30 Janu­ary) at Hotell­ne­set, clo­se to the air­port.

Anaesthetised polar bear

An anaes­the­ti­sed polar bear during pre­pa­ra­ti­ons for the flight to Kinn­vi­ka (archi­ve image, 2016).

The Sys­sel­man­nen pushed the bear with the heli­c­op­ter across Advent­fjord to Hior­th­hamn. Later, the bear was anaes­the­ti­sed and flown out to Kinn­vi­ka on Nord­aus­t­land, about 200 km as the crow flies to the north. It is unli­kely that this bear will return to Lon­gye­ar­by­en at any time soon, alt­hough this kind of distance and ter­rain are not an insur­moun­ta­ble obs­ta­cle for a polar bear. But chan­ces that the bear has the ori­en­ta­ti­on and moti­va­ti­on to set cour­se for Lon­gye­ar­by­en now are low.

The last case when a bear was anaes­the­ti­sed near Lon­gye­ar­by­en and flown out, also to Kinn­vi­ka, was in April 2016. This bear retur­ned to Lon­gye­ar­by­en in late Decem­ber 2019 and was shot in the ear­ly mor­ning hours of New Year’s Day 2020.

Polar bear experts of the Nor­we­gi­an Polar Insti­tu­te were pre­sent during the who­le ope­ra­ti­on, as the Sys­sel­man­nen infor­med on Face­book.

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