THEY KEEP COMING BACK: Polar bear visits Hiorthhamn yet again at midday Wednesday; officials pondering removal efforts


Photo by Sophie Cordon

Update 2:30 p.m.: Officials have decided to use a helicopter to push the bear toward Revneset because it is disturbing several cabins in the area and is not responding to flares intended to scare it away, Svalbardposten reported.

Original story: After two days of removing and trying to chase away four polar bears near Longyearbyen, another visit by one occurred at about noon Wednesday at Hiorthhamn, prompting officials to yet again determine what, if any, actions are merited to remove it from the cabin area on the shore across the bay from town.


The Hiorthhamn area across from Longyearbyen is often frequented by polar bears during late summer and early fall. Map by the Norwegian Polar Institute.

The bear is resting and does not appear to be disturbing any cabins, Police Chief Lt. Kjetil Vereide told Svalbardposten. Officials from the governor’s office are discussing options with an expert from the Norwegian Polar Institute and a veterinarian, who were involved the tranquilizing and removal by helicopter of a mother polar bear and her cub on Monday.

The bear is believed to be one of two that appeared separately on Tuesday hours after the after the mother and cub were removed.

Jon Aars, the polar institute expert, told NRK, “it is a bit unusual, but it can happen by chance that several bears come close to Longyearbyen.”

“There is a reindeer carcass lying there, so the (other) bears may have followed in the footsteps of the female bear,” he said.