Tag Archives: The Governor of Svalbard

GOVERNOR: IF YOU CARE, BEWARE OF BEAR: Killing animal that has encountered tour groups in Bolterdalen in recent days is last resort, but public needs to avoid provocative actions


Growls of frustration are already being heard as officials are trying to cope with another bear lingering near Longyearbyen in recent days, including two encounters with guided tour groups. But while The Governor of Svalbard says it is doing everything to avoid a repeat of the controversial killing of a bear on New Year’s Day, it’s crucial the public do everything possible to prevent potentially harmful situations.

ALERT – ANOTHER POLAR BEAR NEAR TOWN: Governor sends helicopter to monitor bear seen Wednesday afternoon in Bolterdalen, tracks also seen on Longyearbreen on Tuesday


Update 6:30 p.m.: The governor is chasing the bear south through Bolterdalen and plans to continue chasing it to Tverrdalen.

Update 5:50 p.m.: Green Dog Svalbard also reported an encounter with a polar bear at their kennels about 10 kilometers east of Longyearbyen, the governor’s office told Svalbardposten.

Original story: A polar bear was spotted Wednesday afternoon in Bolterdalen, a valley southeast of Longyearbyen, prompting a warning from officials after bear tracks were also observed Tuesday on Longyearbreen south of town.

GUEST COLUMN: Polar bear murder on the New Year’s night due to ‘lack of resources’ inexcusable


By Nikita Ovsyanikov.
Photo by Marie Lørup Stenshøj

A New Year celebration in Longyearbyen turned out to be no good for an unfortunate polar bear – a seven-year-old healthy male, whose only “sin” was his curiosity and interest in food containers in the town.

BEAR KILLED FLOWN FAR FROM LONGYEARBYEN IN 2016: Seven-year-old male brought to northeast corner of Svalbard after high-profile visit; its long-distance return was fatal


A polar bear killed near Longyearbyen early on New Year’s Day also approached town in April of 2016, with officials opting then to tranquillize and fly it by helicopter to the northeast corner of Svalbard, adding an extra element to the current debate about whether a similar approach should have occurred this time.

‘DISGUSTING LOSS OF LIFE’: As usual, shooting of polar bear on New Year’s sparks outrage at governor’s decision to kill animal – and the presence of humans/tourists in Svalbard


A decision to kill a polar bear at 4 a.m. New Year’s Day because it kept venturing into Longyearbyen, even though it has been chased some distance away and didn’t post an immediate danger to humans, is triggering a familiar and fierce debate about the decision – as well as the mere presence of humans/tourists in the inhospitable landscape of Svalbard.

POLAR BEAR SHOT: Officials kill bear at 4 a.m. Wednesday after it visited Longyearbyen multiple times; governor says no other practical solution possible


Photo by Sophie Cordon.

A polar bear that visited Longyearbyen four times since last Thursday, including minutes after midnight on New Year’s, was shot and killed by officials a few hours after the last approach because there was no other practical alternative to protect people in town, according to The Governor of Svalbard.

BEAR AT CABINS IN BJØRNDALEN: Governor, after abandoning helicopter chase due to weather, flies out again Sunday morning when bear seen in populated area near town


Update 12 p.m. Sunday: “The governor still does not have a full overview of where the polar bear is now,” Gov. Kjerstin Askholt said in a prepared statement. “We therefore ask people to be very careful.”

Original story: A polar bear that visited Longyearbyen twice since Thursday before being chased away returned Sunday morning to a cabin area in Bjørndalen, about eight kilometers southwest of Longyearbyen, where The Governor of Svalbard has again deployed a helicopter with the intent of chasing it far from settled areas.

POLAR BEAR IN DOWNTOWN LONGYEARBYEN: Bear spotted between Kroa and Svalbardbutikken on Thursday morning before officials chase it out of town


Photo above and video below by Marie Lørup Stenshøj

A polar bear wandered through the central part of Longyearbyen on Thursday morning, leaving tracks along the main road and at popular locations such as Kroa, before The Governor of Svalbard deployed all of its resources to chase the animal south of town over Longyearbreen and out toward Colesdalen.

FLEE FOR YOUR LIFE 101: Avalanche season is coming – overview of evacuation and other procedures offered by emergency officials Monday


If you haven’t experienced the adrenaline rush of being ordered to immediately abandon your home, recent history suggests it’s a near certainty if you’re living in certain areas during the coming winter. And your preparations should involve more than throwing a toothbrush and clean underwear in an overnight bag.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Oct. 29, 2019


Mary Ann’s Polarrigg sold as storied owner fights cancer, police go all-out to find shoplifter who stole two pairs of socks and errant drivers are fined for using summer tires in September snow.