Iceland News: Rare Whales, Puffin Sex & Guns - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Iceland News: Rare Whales, Puffin Sex & Guns

Published July 24, 2018

Noemi Ehrat

Tourists on a boat by tour operator Whale Watching Reykjanes got a special treat yesterday when they spotted a rare Greenland whale just casually chilling in the water and even swimming up close to the boat, RÚV reports. The Greenland whale is almost extinct in the North Sea, with only around 350 to 450 animals believed to be alive. The rare species has been protected since 1975. As we know that this is not likely to stop Icelandic whalers from hunting the poor creature – it might be a hybrid and not an actual Greenland whale, right – let’s just hope it will swim as far away from the dangerous Icelandic waters as possible asap.

Puffins Threatened
Meanwhile, it doesn’t look good for puffins either: While their breeding seems to be better than expected in Akureyri, Morgunblaðið reports that there have been many chicks dying on the Westman Islands, one of the Icelandic puffin’s main breeding spots. To monitor puffin behaviour better, GPS locators have been installed on eleven adult puffins. What has been found out is that the birds appear to have to fly up to 110 kilometres in search for food for their chicks, which reduces the amount of food they bring back. “The adult puffins bring back much less food than the chicks would need in order to grow,” Erpur Snær Hansen from the South Icelandic Nature Institution told Morgunblaðið.

Gun Paradise
Further, US broadcaster NBC came to Iceland in order to find out about gun ownership in Iceland. The resulting clip,which was published on the NBC website yesterday, starts with “Icelandic people love guns” and continues with “Like Americans, many Icelandic people fervently believe in the right to bear arms” to then claim, “But in Iceland, people don’t shoot each other”. Seems like gun paradise was right around the corner for Americans! NBC then continues to praise Icelandic gun control, as it is rather difficult to get in possession of a firearm, a story the Grapevine had already covered a year ago.


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