LIFE’S THE PITS FOR POLAR BEAR NEAR TOWN: Sleeping spot and tracks found east of Longyearbyen at Helvetiafjellet

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It might be hibernation season when polar bears are supposed to retreat to their dens, but at least one is opting to camp outside near Longyearbyen as a hiker discovered tracks and a pit in the snow where the predatory slept, The Governor of Svalbard reported Wednesday.

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Footprints and a sleep pit in the snow made by a polar bear were spotted Wednesday at Helvetiafjellet (red circle), to the northwest of Longyearbyen (lower left quarter of image). Satellite image by the Norwegian Polar Institute.

The signs of the bear’s presence were spotted at east of town at Helvetiafjellet, in the northern part of Adventdalen. A bear was observed several times this fall in the general vicinity and the governor says it’s possible it’s the same animal.

“It is outside our monitoring area, but it is good people are aware there may be a polar bear nearby,” Police Chief Lt. Lisbeth Hansen told Svalbardposten.

Hansen said the tracks are large in size and the bear apparently is not fitted with a monitoring device.

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.
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