POLAR BEAR BRINGS EARLY-MORNING MAY DAY CALL: Helicopter tracks animal for four hours as it wanders from Bjørndalen and past cabins before heading north

maydaybear

A polar bear sighted in Bjørndalen at about 3 a.m. Friday was tracked by a rescue helicopter for about four hours as it wandered past cabin areas, into Adventdalen, and though the water and coastline across from Longyearbyen before heading northward away from town, according to police.

People in cabins reported the bear to officials, who used the aircraft to monitor it but took no other action, said Police Chief Lt. Kjell Arne Lundin. He said there were no reports of encounters with people who were out.

No special precautions are being taken since the bear is now considered a safe distance from inhabited areas, he said.