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Home* News and Stories → Polar bear died from cir­cu­la­to­ry col­lap­se

Polar bear died from cir­cu­la­to­ry col­lap­se

The fema­le polar bear that was ana­es­the­ti­sed near Lon­gye­ar­by­en in late Janu­a­ry and that died during heli­co­p­ter trans­port is found to have died from cir­cu­la­to­ry col­lap­se as a con­se­quence of a com­bi­na­ti­on of stress, shock and medi­ca­ti­on, accord­ing to the Sys­sel­man­nen.

Sys­sel­man­nen (poli­ce) and Nor­we­gi­an Polar Insti­tu­te experts had star­ted to sca­re the polar bear away from Ves­t­pyn­ten near Lon­gye­ar­by­en by heli­co­p­ter in the late after­noon of 30 Janu­a­ry. The bear was moved across Advent­fjord and – part­ly by using snow mobi­les – into a side val­ley, whe­re she was final­ly ana­es­the­ti­sed. A total of 2.5 hours pas­sed from the begin­ning of the ope­ra­ti­on until she was put to sleep: a long time for an ani­mal that is not made to run fast over lon­ger distan­ces. It is for good rea­son that nobo­dy is gene­ral­ly allo­wed to fol­low a polar bear that has chan­ged its beha­viour so it might be at risk.

This seems to be exact­ly what hap­pen­ed in this case, con­si­de­ring a cha­se over 2.5 hours by heli­co­p­ter and snow mobi­le (the­re is men­ti­on of a short rest which is inclu­ded in that time span), alt­hough “polar bear exper­ti­se” was pre­sent in shape of an expert from the Nor­we­gi­an Polar Insti­tu­te. The pro­ce­du­re was obvious­ly too much for the bear, who recei­ved fur­ther medi­ca­ti­on after the initi­al aen­esthe­ti­sa­ti­on and died in the heli­co­p­ter during trans­port to Kinn­vi­ka on Nord­aus­t­land.

Eisbären (Edgeøya)

Polar bear fami­ly: mother (left, in front) and two second year cubs in good shape.
Mid August, Edgeøya.

The bear was a fema­le with a very low weight of 62 kg. It is belie­ved that she was a first year cub or a very small second year cub. In eit­her case, she should still have been tog­e­ther with her mother.

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last modification: 2020-03-31 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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