Too much to bear: Open weekend at Fredheim cancelled by governor due to several polar bears located nearby


An annual open weekend at the Fredheim trapping station at the entrance to Templefjorden has been cancelled this weekend due to the presence of multiple polar bears in the vicinity, The Governor of Svalbard announced Thursday. The announcement comes a day after the inner portion of the fjord was closed to motorized traffic due to numerous incidents of wildlife being disturbed.

“The reason why we are cancelling is that several polar bears, including an mother with two cubs, have been located relatively close to the trapping station at Fredheim,” Morten Wedege, the governor’s environmental protection manager, said in a prepared statement. “Combined with the need to use resources on enhanced surveillance in connection with newly introduced traffic restrictions, this means that we unfortunately did not get to hold the open day Fredheim as planned this weekend.”

The open weekends hosted by the governor typically feature presentations about the station established by legendary trapper Hilmar Nøis, plus other history including the relocation a few years ago from its original spot due to coastal erosion. The weekend may be scheduled later this season if the situation with polar bears and motorized traffic changes.