The Reykjavík Polar Bear Project has, as promised, set up a page in English for their campaign to protect polar bears arriving in Iceland.
As the Grapevine reported, the recent killing of a polar bear landing in Iceland has renewed the controversy over how to deal with the occasional arrival of the creatures. While Icelandic law says that polar bears are a protected species that may only be killed if they pose an immediate threat to humans or livestock, the Environment Agency of Iceland has recommended shooting them on sight.
However, many Icelanders feel the bears should rather be tranquillised, captured, and sent to nearby Greenland. Mayor of Reykjavík Jón Gnarr has long proposed the addition of a polar bear to the capital zoo.
One such group of Icelanders arguing for the humane treatment of the polar bears is The Reykjavík Polar Bear Project.
A petition, to be submitted to the Icelandic government, argues in part that polar bears rarely attack people without provocation, that they are considered a threatened species by the countries that polar bears call home, and that there are a number of international treaties protecting them. “Currently, with the approval of the Icelandic government, polar bears are being killed when they come to the shores of Iceland. No other course of action is considered,” the petition text reads. “Iceland is a very progressive country and such acts of unnecessary violence are absolutely shocking and unacceptable.”
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