Two polar bears are killed on Iceland just weeks after USA lists them as a "threatened" species

Iceland has killed two polar bears since the U.S. Department of Interior formally listed the polar bear as a "threatened" species a few weeks ago.

The first polar bear, named Björn Björnesson, came to Iceland in the beginning of June this year. The polar bear was shot as soon as he was spotted for fears he would get into the nearest village. According to the hunters, killing the polar bear was the only solution as it would take to long to get the anaesthetic that was on the other side of the island.

The polar bear had probably travelled the 29 miles (47 kilometres) from Greenland on a flake of ice and swim the last miles to Iceland.

And just two days ago another polar bear was discovered on Iceland. People from the nearest village who discovered the polar bear said "he was very calm and seemed to be very tired" and "fell asleep after half an hour." This polar bear was named Ófeig.

The local authorities had received a lot of criticism for their handling of the first polar bear, so this time they wanted deal with it properly. But their plans to put Ófeig to sleep and transport him back to Greenland failed and they had to kill him, the second polar bear in less than two weeks.

Eyewitness said that Ófeig tried to flee back to the sea when the veterinarian came. The authorities and the veterinarian then decided that the polar was to skinny and hungry and that killing it would be the most humane way.

It's very rare that polar bears come to Iceland. Last time a polar bear visited Iceland was 20 years ago. That polar bear was also killed.

But according to Tom Arnbom from WWF we will see more polar bears in wrong habitats. Tom Arnbom says the polar bears natural habitats are melting away because of climate change.

"The worst case scenario everyone was talking about would happen in 20-30 years, is happening right now," Tom Arnbom said, and added that "no one contemplated that the warming would increase faster the more ice melted away."


Report Article

Article Details

Simon Leufstedt
  • Published:

Share This Story

Follow Green Blog

Subscribe to our RSS feed and stay updated with out latest posts and articles. You can also subscribe to our newsletter and get weekly updates. Follow us on Twitter, Google+ or Facebook.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

User Feedback


Guest Mike@EasyGreensy

Posted · Report

What a shame. I sure hope they've learned to keep the anesthetic in multiple locations.

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites
Guest Kristi

Posted · Report

Wow thats really sad! You would think they would be well prepared for transporting a polar bear... its not like its a little puppy or something. Its a freaking GIANT wild polar bear. It really makes me wonder how certain people get into certain professions.

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hmm...and this is only 2 that have been reported. Plenty more are dying including their cubs because they drown. People are now starting to take action. I just hope it's not too late.

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites
Guest Olmec Sinclair

Posted · Report

What a shame polar beer meat isn't suitable for human consumption (we don't eat things that eat other animals) If there was a market for their flesh (and skins) then there would be no issue of extinction. Plenty of goats, sheep, cows and chickens about..... YUM!

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites
Guest Ringo

Posted · Report

I was in Iceland when they shot the second one and followed it in the local news. They got experts from Denmark to help, who brought over a cage and a tranquilizer gun. These experts had never before tried to capture wild polar bears, and were mainly familiar with them from zoo's. When approaching the bear, they did so in jeeps, as they didn't dare to get close on foot! They needed to be within 30m or so to use the tranquilizer gun. Of course, the bear ran away when he saw jeeps approaching. What I don't get is why they didn't get 3-4 guys in cameo crawling towards him, one with a tranquilizer gun and a 2-3 with real guns in case the bear was prepared to attack them. They should have gotten people with real experience from polar bears, from Svalbard, Greenland or Alaska. Olmec: They threw away the meat, as it's illegal to sell it, though you probably can eat it. Though there is a market for the skin, in fact polar bear skins are VERY expensive. After they shot the bear, they found he had soars under his arm/legs, from swimming a great distance and that he was lighter than he should be. Still, I see no reason he wouldn't have been able to recover from that if captured. As a side note, it's questionable if the efforts and costs to save one bear who drifts over to Iceland, are not better spent on other projects to secure the living conditions for all polar bears in general.

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites


Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now