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Home* News and Stories → It was Frost

It was Frost

What many had assu­med is now offi­ci­al­ly con­firm­ed: the fema­le polar bear that drow­ned last Fri­day in Sas­senfjord was the famous polar bear “Frost”.

“Frost” was Spitsbergen’s most famous polar bear. Among­st others, she play­ed the star role in “Queen wit­hout land” by the Nor­we­gi­an pho­to­grapher Asge­ir Hel­ge­stad. Or, to be more pre­cise: she did not play the star role. She was the star.

In other docu­men­ta­ries she was cal­led “Misha”. She gra­ced the covers of seve­ral ones of my own books. Over the years, I had the pri­vi­le­ge to obser­ve Frost a cou­ple of times.

Polar bear Frost is dead

The polar bear Frost with her fami­ly,
in bet­ter times in Tem­pel­fjord.

Last Friday’s events at Vin­dod­den in Sas­senfjord will now be inves­ti­ga­ted by appro­pria­te aut­ho­ri­ties, main­ly Sys­sel­mes­te­ren. As of now, the­re is no indi­ca­ti­on of cri­mi­nal beha­viour, as Sval­bard­pos­ten reports.

It is said that Frost was mark­ed by sci­en­tists (Nor­we­gi­an Polar Insti­tu­te) during the days befo­re her dead. Mar­king polar bears always invol­ves gene­ral aenes­the­sia dis­pen­sed with a rif­le shot from a heli­c­op­ter. A poten­ti­al con­nec­tion of the aenes­the­sia and Frost’s death will be part of the inves­ti­ga­ti­on.

Frost had a cub with her that atta­cked the action forces as they retrie­ved her body from the sea. The cub was shot. Also this part of the inci­dent will be inves­ti­ga­ted.

During her long life, Frost and her off­spring had fre­quent cont­act with peo­p­le and infra­struc­tu­re, some of which was harmful or even tra­gic. This ran­ges from many dama­ged huts to the death of Johan (“Job”) Koot­te in August 2020, which was cau­sed by one of Frost’s cubs. Seve­ral of her cubs lost their lives during the­se and other inci­dents.



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last modification: 2023-04-12 · copyright: Rolf Stange