Polar Bear Sighted On Iceland's Coast UPDATED - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Polar Bear Sighted On Iceland’s Coast UPDATED

Published May 2, 2011

A polar bear has been spotted walking along the shore of the sparsely populated Hornstandir area of Iceland, and as yet no decision has been taken on whether or not to shoot it.
Vísir reports that a fishing boat first spotted the polar bear, walking along the shore of Hælavík in Hornstrandir at about nine o’ clock this morning. The fisherman then contacted the Coast Guard, upon which a helicopter was deployed to track its movements.
As yet, no decision has been taken as to whether or not to kill the animal. Kristinn Már Ársælsson, the public relations officer for the Environment Agency of Iceland, told Vísir that the first step will be to inform tourists in the area of the presence of the polar bear, and to avoid going near Hælavík. He did add, however, that the precedent is such that polar bears who land in Iceland are shot and killed.
Police in the West Fjörds have been informed of the situation and are on the lookout. No word yet from the office of the mayor of Reykjavík, who has long expressed the desire to stop killing polar bears in the country.
UPDATE: Police in the West Fjörds have shot and killed the bear, Vísir reports. There are no indications given that the animal attacked anyone, approached anyone, or was heading towards any populated area.

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