Researcher fined after shooting a polar bear

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An Arctic researcher on Svalbard has been fined NOK 5,000 (about USD 800) after he admitted shooting and wounding a polar bear, and then failing to immediately report the incident.

The shooting occurred last summer, after the polar bear allegedly had been threatening the researcher and his three colleagues at their workstation at Hyttevik. He fired what he claimed were warning shots, to scare it off, but he ended up shooting the bear that later was found dead.

Lars Fause of the governor’s office on Svalbard told local newspaper Svalbardposten that the researcher received a “discount” on his fine because he admitted the shooting, but then the fine was boosted because he hadn’t quickly reported the shooting. It resulted in the polar bear apparently suffering a long and painful death.

Views and News staff