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Killed Polar Bear Had Newly Given Birth

Killed Polar Bear Had Newly Given Birth

Photos by
Arturo de Frias Marques/Wikimedia Commons

Published July 19, 2016

The polar bear that was felled in northwest Iceland last Saturday was still lactating, indicating she had newly given birth to cubs.

The bear in question was spotted some 500 metres from Hvalnes, MBL reports, when police were alerted to its presence. Shortly thereafter, the bear was tracked and shot, as per Icelandic law.

The bear, measuring just over two metres long and weighing in at about 200 kilos, was sent south to the Museum of Natural History in Garðabær, RÚV reports, and a medical examination brought to light some more information about the animal.

The bear was apparently well fed, but was also still lactating, indicating that the bear recently had cubs. These cubs have not been spotted.

Polar bears are classified as a vulnerable species, and their numbers have been in a steady state of decline. As such, not everyone is on board with Iceland’s shoot-on-sight policy about polar bears. Former Reykjavík mayor Jón Gnarr has long advocated for live capturing of polar bears – an opinion he still stands by to this day.


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