From Iceland — Search For A Polar Bear In The Westfjords

Search For A Polar Bear In The Westfjords

Published June 23, 2021

Brittnee Kiner
Photo by
Wikimedia Commons

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.

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