A small polar bear was spotted in the fjord of Þistilfjörður at around 2 pm today, RÚV reports. Already two hunters are on the bear’s trail, with local police authorities and the Environment Agency of Iceland in agreement that conditions in the small fjord do not allow for the animal’s rescue, and that it must thus be terminated.
Þistilfjörður is located in the northeast of Iceland, its nearest municipality being Þórshöfn. The sighting was made by Þórshöfn police captain Jón Stefánsson, whom RÚV quotes as saying he is certain he saw a polar bear, backing his claims with photographs and track findings (false polar bear sightings occur from time to time in Iceland).
Polar bear landings are a regular occurance in Iceland, with the bears climbing ashore after drifting over from Greenland on stray icebergs. The bears are usually exterminated to ensure public safety, unless conditions allow for a swift and safe rescue.
This might be as good a time as any to read up on how to defend oneself against a polar bear.
According to recent reports, the polar bear was shot dead by a farmer at around 3:30 PM today. He was reportedly small, and nearing in on some sheep when he was shot. No sheep were harmed.