Polar bears trap family in their cabin

Two polar bears, apparently a mother and her cub, spent the weekend circling a family’s cabin on Svalbard, while the family was inside. Plans for an outdoor barbecue on Saturday evening had to be cancelled. “When they were closest, they were right under our window,” Helene Renate Hvedding, who has lived on Svalbard for 16 years, […]

Skiers shot polar bear on Svalbard

The authorities on Svalbard had to kill a polar bear over the weekend that had been wounded by skiers after they feared it would attack. PHOTO: Sysselmannen på Svalbard/Irene Sætermoen

Four tourists from Finland who were out skiing on Svalbard over the weekend felt forced to shoot one of the archipelago’s protected polar bears, when they feared it was about to attack. They only wounded the bear, though, and it later had to be put to death by local authorities. Polar bears are an endangered species and under […]

Polar bears make a surprise comeback

Polar bear warnings are always up with good reason on Svalbard, especially now. PHOTO: Wikipedia Commons

Researchers from the Norwegian Polar Institute had some good news to report just in time for the Christmas holidays: Polar bears seem to be making a comeback on the Arctic islands of Svalbard and elsewhere in areas of the Barents Sea under Norway’s control. Despite dramatic changes in ice conditions, and warmer temperatures that are […]

Hungry polar bear made desperate dive

Polar bears like this one are facing a constantly growing challenge to find food. PHOTO: Wikipedia Commons

A visibly emaciated polar bear spotted on the ice around Norway’s Arctic archipelago of Svalbard was recently recorded making a record-breaking dive in an attempt to surprise and attack some nearby seals. The bear managed to spend three minutes and 10 seconds underwater in his desperate attempt to secure food. Newspaper Aftenposten reported on Friday about […]

Polar bear attacks tourists on Svalbard

A group of six tourists out camping on Norway’s northern archipelago of Svalbard was attacked by a polar bear near Fredheim, the local sheriff confirmed on Thursday. They escaped fatal injury, but not the bear, which was shot. Vidar Arnesen of the local sheriff’s office told newspaper Svalbardposten that one person suffered facial and arm injuries and […]

Paper clips secured polar bear wire

Polar bear attack Svalbard base camp

An independent report into a British schoolboy’s death on Svalbard in 2011, when he was mauled to death by a polar bear, found critical faults in the alarm system set up to protect his group. The report was released this week to coincide with an inquest being held into the tragedy that killed  17-year-old Horatio Chapple. […]

Polar bear center plans raise growls

Animal rights advocates are protesting plans to create a new polar bear center in Hallingdal, arguing that they do not do well in captivity and are best left in their natural habitat, like here on Svalbard. PHOTO: Norsk Polarinstitutt

A Norwegian billionaire’s plans to create a polar bear center in his native valley of Hallingdal in southern Norway has stirred growls of protests from animal rights group NOAH. Its leader claims that polar bears should remain in their natural habitat, not held in captivity to be put on display for profit. “Polar bears that […]

Skiers shot polar bear on Svalbard

Two skiers claim they felt forced to shoot this polar bear Thursday evening as it ran towards them and appeared to be on the attack. PHOTO: Sysselmannen på Svalbard/Arild Lyssand, Police Chief Inspector

Two skiers with dogs said they felt forced to shoot a polar bear on Svalbard Thursday evening when it ran towards them while they were out trekking over a wide-open stretch of snow and ice. They viewed it as an attack, and shot the bear at close range. The shooting occurred at Isbukta, on the […]

Polar bear shot during break-in

A six-year-old, marked polar bear was shot and killed after trying to break into this hytte on Svalbard. PHOTO: Sysselmannen på Svalbard

An overly curious and determined polar bear made the mistake of his life when he tried to break into a hytte (cabin) on Svalbard over the weekend. Attempts by the couple inside to scare off the bear failed, and they felt they had no choice but to shoot to kill. “They tried throwing lighted candles […]

Norway helps save polar cabins

Norway and New Zealand are sharing the cost of restoring historic buildings in Antarctica that were used by polar explorers and researchers including Robert Scott, Ernest Shackleton and Carsten Borchgrevink. The latter was a Norwegian polar researcher born in 1864 who made his first trip to Antarctica in 1894 with a Norwegian whale-hunting expedition. Borchgrevink […]