A newly formed political action group connected with Jón Gnarr’s Best Party is organising a petition that calls upon the Icelandic government to make it illegal to kill a polar bear.
Polar bear landings are a rare event in Iceland, but when they do occur, the animal is invariably hunted down and killed. To this, the organisation in question – The Reykjavik Polar Bear Project – strongly objects.
“The sanctions to kill polar bears is approved by the Icelandic government, because the animals are wrongly considered dangerous,” the petition statement reads in part. “They are not considered to be in serious danger of extinction, and the transportation costs are thought to be too high. These assumptions are all completely wrong.
“First, polar bears attack humans only if provoked. According to Polar Bears International, throughout all recorded history, there have only been 10 confirmed casualties in Canada and the US caused by polar bears, and 19 in Russia. No Icelander has ever been killed by a polar bear*.
“Second, while the polar bears are not classified as ‘in danger of extinction’, all countries where polar bears dwell; Canada, Norway, Russia, USA, Greenland (Denmark) classify polar bears as vulnerable and have taken responsible actions to preserve these magnificent animals. Iceland however, has not!”
The petition calls upon the government to “take immediate action to find more humane ways to deal with these magnificent animals, to catch them alive and send them back home or give them a new home in Iceland. Please don´t kill them!”
Reykjavík mayor Jón Gnarr already agrees with this platform, as he believes polar bears who accidentally land in Iceland should be tranquillised and either flown back up to polar regions, or possibly given a home in the city zoo.
*Apparently a polar bear did kill 8 people in 1321, but no, no one in the past few centuries has been killed by a polar bear in Iceland.
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