ALERT – POLAR BEAR IN BJØRNDALEN: Bear seen near cabins just before 5 p.m.; govenor sends helicopter in response


Update 10 a.m. Tuesday: “A polar bear was observed on Vestpynten at 6:30 a.m.,” the governor announced in an update. “The bear went into the sea and is swimming in a northernly direction. The governor has been out with a helicopter and police, and is following the situation.”

Update 9:20 p.m. Monday: The governor says “the polar bear is still well outside the cabin area in Bjørndalen. The governor is following the situation and will, for security reasons, have a police patrol in the city tomorrow morning. The governor will then send out a helicopter and try to push the bear away from the nearby areas of Longyearbyen. We ask people to be aware of the current polar bear situation and take their precautions.”

Original story: A polar bear spotted near cabins in Bjørndalen, west of Svalbard Airport, just before 5 p.m. appears to be moving further from the shore into the valley and is being tracked by a helicopter and police, according to The Governor of Svalbard.

“We urge people to stay away from the area,” an alert issued by the governor states.