Last night, Visír reports that a group of hikers in Hornstrandir noticed potential traces of a polar bear and notified police in the Westfjords, initiating a search in the area.
Possible tracks of a polar bear
A Facebook announcement was made last night from police in the Westfjords. A group walking in Hornstrandir notified the police that they had spotted traces of an “unknown animal, possibly a polar bear.” The Coast Guard’s helicopter conducted a surveillance flight over the area.
Search begins in the Westfjords
The Coast Guard reported that a polar bear wasn’t visible, “but on closer inspection, it is not excluded that there are traces of a polar bear.” Consequently, people and tourism operators in the area have been notified of the search. The announcement also states that “The police advise those in the area to exercise caution and ask those who had been heading to the area to wait until it has been ascertained that no polar bear is in the area.”
That said, an extensive search through the night turned up no polar bear to be found, RÚV reports, so it is increasingly unlikely that a bear has landed.
This occurrence is not entirely uncommon, as polar bears can be known to land on Hornstrandir. In May 2011, a polar bear was shot by police in a Coast Guard helicopter on a beach near Hælavík in Hornstrandir.
Note: Due to the effect the Coronavirus is having on tourism in Iceland, it’s become increasingly difficult for the Grapevine to survive. If you enjoy our content and want to help the Grapevine’s journalists do things like eat and pay rent, please consider joining our High Five Club.
You can also check out our shop, loaded with books, apparel and other cool merch, that you can buy and have delivered right to your door.
Also you can get regular news from Iceland—including the latest notifications on eruptions, as soon as they happen—by signing up to our newsletter.
Buy subscriptions, t-shirts and more from our shop right here!