POLAR BEAR, CUB AT HIORTHHAMN: Governor reponds to late Saturday night visit at cabin area across from Longyearbyen


A polar bear with a cub is in the cabin area of Hiorthhamn across the channel from Longyearbyen, The Governor of Svalbard stated in an alert at about 11 p.m. Saturday.


A helicopter used by the governor of Svalbard hovers in the midnight sun high above the shore of a cabin area at Hiorthhamn where a polar bear with a cub was spotted late Saturday night. Photo by Mark Sabbatini / Icepeople.

“The governor’s personnel are on their way and urge people to keep away from the bears,” the alert stated.

One of the governor’s two rescue helicopters hovered high over the cabins shortly before midnight as officials tracked the bear, but the aircraft departed after several minutes.

The area, often in high use by cabin owners during the summer, is frequently visited by bears during late summer and early fall, with one female in particular – sometimes with cubs – seemingly making it part of her annual migration track around Svalbard for many years, according to Norwegian Polar Institute experts.

While some of the visits have resulted in ransacked cabins and campsites, no attacks on humans have been reported in modern times.