Shaken up: Two campers scare off polar bear that jumps over tripwire alarm, pays 3 a.m. visit to their tent

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Ronny Lauritz Berntsen thought a reindeer was pushing against the outside wall of the tent so he smacked the fabric hoping to scare it away. Then he realized that might not have been a great idea.

tripwireheight
Ronny Lauritz Berntsen shows the height of the tripwire alarm system a polar bear jumped over to reach the tent he and another person were sleeping in. Screenshot from video by Joachim Myhrvang

That’s when I realize it was possibly a polar bear and I woke up Joachim (Myhrvang) in panic,” Berntsen told Svalbardposten, describing the encounter at about 3 a.m. Saturday. “We readied the rifle and revolver, and then the polar bear snifffed its way into the tent. Then Joachim struck the snout and began to scream at the bear, and it ran away.”

The two men were camping Ymerbukta and Borebukta during a ski trip in the mountains. Berntsen told the newspaper a tripwrire alarm system was set up around the tent, but the bear jumped over the wire that was 60 centimeters above the ground.

“It was kind of cool in a way, but very scary there and then,” he said “Very scary. Had I not woken up when I did, it might have gone crazier. We relied very blindly on the trip flares that we invested a lot of money in. But we will never do that again and I would not recommend others do it either.”

 

About Post Author

Mark Sabbatini

I'm a professional transient living on a tiny Norwegian island next door to the North Pole, where once a week (or thereabouts) I pollute our extreme and pristine environment with paper fishwrappers decorated with seemingly random letters that would cause a thousand monkeys with a thousand typewriters to die of humiliation. Such is the wisdom one acquires after more than 25 years in the world's second-least-respected occupation, much of it roaming the seven continents in search of jazz, unrecognizable street food and escorts I f****d with by insisting they give me the platonic tours of their cities promised in their ads. But it turns out this tiny group of islands known as Svalbard is my True Love and, generous contributions from you willing, I'll keep littering until they dig my body out when my climate-change-deformed apartment collapses or they exile my penniless ass because I'm not even worthy of washing your dirty dishes.
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