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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Polar bear found shot

Police on Svalbard, the Arctic archipelago north of the Norwegian mainland, have launched an investigation after a polar bear was found shot this week. Polar bears are a protected species in Norway.

The dead polar bear was a 10-year-old male. PHOTO: Sysselmannen

The office of the local governor on Svalbard, called sysselmannen, said researchers from Poland who are working on the island reported finding either an injured or sick bear about one kilometer from Hyttevika, just north of Hornsund, at about 11pm Monday night.

Investigators reached the scene Tuesday morning and found the bear dead.

The bear had been marked earlier and was identified as a 10-year-old male. The cadaver was brought back to Svalbard’s major settlement, Longyearbyen, where it was examined and found to contain a bullet.

It’s a crime to shoot a polar bear unless in the case of self-defense. Police were asking for tips from anyone who may have been in the area around Hornsund, either on sea or land.

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