Costly chase: Snowmobile guide fined 12K for disrupting polar bear; governor threatens travel ban where animals are

bearfine
0 0
Read Time:1 Minute, 17 Second

A tour guide has been fined 12,000 kroner – and future tours are facing an arguably much harsher penalty – after disrupting a polar bear by leading a snowmobiling group too close to the animal, according to The Governor of Svalbard.

The incident occurred in May at Mohnbukta when the bear was spotted about 900 meters away from the group, according to a press release issued by the governor Friday.

“The bear was calm,” the statement notes. “The guide decided that the group should drive closer to the polar bear. It was then disturbed and scared and began to run away from the tour group. The guide broke off the approach when it became apparent that the bear was scared.”

It’s illegal to deliberately engage in behavior that disrupts polar bears in Svalbard, regardless of distance, and the guide has admitted guilt in the case, according to the governor.

Mohnbukta is among numerous areas in the archipelago where notorious sightings of polar bears have occurred in recent years, with people often posting photos of the animals as both a tip and warning to future travelers. But the governor said further incidents such as the one in May could put a limit on those hoping to see bears in areas they’ve been spotted.

“With increasing tourism and traffic in Svalbard there may be more similar situations where polar bears are disturbed and intimidated,” the statement notes. “The governor will follow developments and possibly implement a ban on traffic in areas if the traffic obviously disrupts polar bears.”

 

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.
Happy
Happy
0 %
Sad
Sad
0 %
Excited
Excited
0 %
Sleepy
Sleepy
0 %
Angry
Angry
0 %
Surprise
Surprise
0 %

Average Rating

5 Star
0%
4 Star
0%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%