Persistent summer visitors: Mother polar bear and cubs spotted in Adventdalen, governor closes area to traffic


A mother polar bear and her two cubs – and there’s no official word on if they’re the same visitors spotted near Longyearbyen a few days ago – wandered into Adventdalen on Sunday afternoon, prompting The Governor of Svalbard to close a portion of the area to public traffic.

The bears were spotted at about 3:30 p.m., with numerous people reporting sightings to officials. The governor’s office, in a statement issued at about 6:30 p.m., stated they were closing the road into the valley at Todalen to allow the bears to pass freely through the valley

“We will follow the situation and prevent the bears from moving in an undesirable direction if that happens,” said Police Chief Lt.Vidar Arnesen. “The barrier of the road is maintained as long as it is necessary.”

A similar trio of bears spent several hours in a cabin area across the channel from Longyearbyen on Thursday before being chased away by officials from the governor’s office using a helicopter. The mother bear has been seen near town and in Isfjorden numerous times in recent years.