Iceland | News | Polar Bears

Iceland Shoots Second Lost, Starving Polar Bear in a Month

At the beginning of the month I posted about a lost, starving Polar Bear that had been shot by police in Iceland after it had swam 200 miles from Greenland or the nearest chunk of Arctic ice. They said they were afraid it posed a threat to humans but couldn't wait 24 hours for a "correct tranquilizer" to be flown in. Their excuse was disputed by a local veet who said he could have had the proper tranquilizer flown in in about an hour.

PbWell, another Polar Bear turned up. They shot and killed it again. What was their excuse this time?

"The chief veterinarian from the Copenhagen zoo had been flown in late Tuesday to help. The police 'tried to get close to (the bear) with our vet, but they did not get close enough to shoot it with the anaesthetiser,' zoo spokesman Bengt Holst told AFP. 'Then the bear started running, so the police were frightened they would lose control. The bear could run very close to the populated area, so they decided to shoot it,' he added. Holst said he believed Icelandic authorities had made the right decision. 'It was a security problem,' he said."

I wonder if they posed smugly with their trophy again?

A news report on the first bear, AFTER THE JUMP...

(via americablog)

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Comments

  1. :( I don't see the point in killing animals if you're not going to eat them or if they don't pose a threat. It's cruel. I'm not a fervent animal rights advocate but I'd never kill an animal unless I had no choice.

    Posted by: Chas | Jun 19, 2008 5:10:16 PM


  2. What? It's not bad enough that we are destroying their native habitat through global warming and as a result they are now being considered as an endangered species. Now we are just shooting/killing them. I'm sure it did run. It was exhaustred, afraid and hungry.

    Posted by: Tony | Jun 19, 2008 5:11:55 PM


  3. It sickens me to see the heartlessness of man. There was a time when man and beast lived together in harmony; then man decided to change the rules. Animals became food and a trophy. The Polar Bear is suffering enough with a home that is melting away (not from global warming because that doesn't exist, right GW?) and when it tries to instinctively seek refuge it's murdered.

    Posted by: Jeff | Jun 19, 2008 5:18:36 PM


  4. Fuck, this makes me want to cry. Poor baby.

    Posted by: Banjiboi | Jun 19, 2008 5:24:22 PM


  5. Bullshit they could have tracked it until they found a tranquilizers.

    Jeff was this when men were practically apes themselves and living of berries. loopy

    Posted by: ousslander | Jun 19, 2008 5:25:39 PM


  6. So damn sad... this amazing creature swims all the way from Greenland to find safety and gets murdered by hopeless fools in Iceland.

    It just reinforces my belief that the most virulent virus that poses a threat to the planet is the human being! Sickening! We strut in our belief of being superior and just show how pathetic and scared and puny we are when it comes to the crunch.

    Posted by: CK | Jun 19, 2008 6:23:32 PM


  7. Tony, there are 4-5 times as many polar bears today as there were in the 1950's. That is not endangered. It's political manipulation.

    CK, you're right, we are scared and puny when it comes down to it and what do all animals do when they are scared or feel threatened in any way?

    Posted by: paul | Jun 19, 2008 7:37:35 PM


  8. Jeff can you point to this time when man and beast lived together in harmony? Was there a time when man didn't hunt, when bears didn't maul and kill men, wolves didn't attack and sharks were our buddies?

    They shouldn't be shooting these polar bears, but rationalizing it by talking about an Eden that never existed is just loopy. The world is a brutal hard place and you cannot begin to imagine how brutal and hard it was just 500 years ago. Keep that in mind as you sit there in A/C and surf the web probably eating factory farmed food where thousands of unspeakable atrocities happen every day.

    The Canadians allow some 500 bears a year to be hunted and indigenous people hunt them as well.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polar_bear

    Let's worry less about isolated incidents that get Andy all worked up and worry more about making Canada and Indians ban a far worse atrocity. Oh wait...it's Canada and they can do no wrong and those Indians, they just don't know any better and they're not white or Christian so it's ok.

    Posted by: Mitch | Jun 19, 2008 8:08:20 PM


  9. I think it is tragic that the bears swam 200 miles to survive, only to be killed. And yet, I can't help wondering if there would be all this uproar if they weren't Polar Bears.
    If one of those big Georgia Black Bears made its way down from the Appalachians to Atlanta, for whatever reason, you can best believe it would be shot.
    Bears are adorable stuffed animals and impressive in a zoo, but standing face to face, without a fence or cage between you, a big live one is scary as f*ck! Ask Innis Del Mar.
    Still, I am hopeful that the Icelanders can learn lessons from this, since a pattern appears to be forming, and find a more humane way of dealing with them.

    Posted by: Clementine | Jun 19, 2008 8:53:16 PM


  10. This story and stories like it just break my heart...when will the senseless killing of animals end??? I just don't understand the mentality of killing opposed to tranquilizing...I agree with CK

    Posted by: Tim | Jun 19, 2008 9:42:21 PM


  11. Well, Mitch, I'd rather kill a few bears than a few hundred thousand civilians.

    Posted by: D.R.H. | Jun 19, 2008 9:48:37 PM


  12. I'm sorry, they were close enough to shoot her/him with a bullet, but not with a tranquilizer dart? F*cking pathetic and disgusting. Someone should force them to swim two hundred miles and straggle onto land only to be shot dead. ,

    Posted by: JOE 2 | Jun 19, 2008 10:22:11 PM


  13. You've got to be fucking kidding me.

    Heart of IceLand; motto: "Bear-free and keeping it that way".

    Posted by: M@ | Jun 20, 2008 2:44:31 AM


  14. Fargen' iceholes.

    Posted by: JJ | Jun 20, 2008 8:19:15 AM


  15. Mitch, a high handed swipe at people criticizing this action is rather disingenuous because it ignores the fact that there actually are a lot of us that criticized the Icelandic action, that actively campaign against the other atrocities that you talk about too. It would be a lot more effective and a lot less alienating to people that actually believe the same thing as you do (about factory farming and hunting) to add your voice and causes to the voices of those here.

    Posted by: CK | Jun 20, 2008 8:32:32 AM


  16. @Mitch: Just FYI, the term Indian is no longer in use and is now considered offensive. It is on par (at least in Canada) with the racial slurs used against other groups.

    The correct term is aboriginal or first nations.

    Also, those people have been feeding off of seals, bears, caribou and various other Northern species for centuries. Have you ever seen pictures of northern Canada? There is NOTHING else to eat. The tundra is rather bare. We can't tell people that one of their few food sources is now off the table; they wouldn't accept it.

    Posted by: Taylor | Jun 20, 2008 9:31:54 AM


  17. This is disgusting. I wonder what the next excuse will be- A South Park-esque "It was coming right for us?"

    Polar Bears can't be consumed as food- their flesh is toxic to humans...

    Posted by: Wirrrn | Jun 20, 2008 9:34:54 AM


  18. Tranquilizer guns are usually pneumatic and have a very limited range compared to standard firearms. It's possible that they were unable to get close enough to use it before the animal started to run. Since bears (even tired ones) can easily outrun humans, and can obviously go places no car or vehicle can go, perhaps they were concerned about losing control of the situation and having a hungry, frightened, powerful animal entering a populated area.

    *If* that was the situation, I would have reluctantly shot it as well.

    There simply aren't enough facts available to really determine if this case was the same random act of cruelty as the first one. We should keep in mind that the officers responding to this situation are not directly responsible for global warming and have the difficult obligation of protecting the general population. Perhaps we can give them a little benefit of the doubt in this situation, at least until more information that clearly condemns them becomes available.

    Posted by: Yeek | Jun 20, 2008 10:22:29 AM


  19. Ok, sort of knew this was coming after your first report. I have a few comments about your "news" item.

    First of all the headline, "Iceland shoots second...", really? ICELAND shot a bear? How impressive that a whole country can do that! Sloppy writing at best.

    A few facts. The bear was first spotted by a little girl that lives on a farm close to where the bear was roaming but thank god she ran straight home and didn't approach it. Somehow I think the headline "Girl killed by polar bear in Iceland" wouldn't have made it Towleroad.
    This time there was an attempt made to save the bear, a specialist and a cage were imported from Denmark but unfortunately the situation ended like this. And like you, a lot of Icelanders did not approve of the bear being taken down, so don't judge a whole nation by the action of a group of a few men.

    If you would bother to look at the facts about polar bears you would find that, "The polar bear is the largest land carnivore and has a reputation as the only animal that actively hunts humans." So if it's hungry, like this one was, basically anything is food, people included. Polar bears are not considered being higly endangered, they are "classified as Lower Risk" by the IUCN.

    Don't get me wrong, I think it's sad that the bear had to be killed but on the other hand, Iceland is not a natural habitat for polar bears and if it would have swam away it would just have ended up in another place on the north coast, most likely close to my old hometown, Siglufjörður, where around 1500 people live. You can imagine what could have happened then.

    You Americans have a very peculiar Disney-like attitude towards animals at times, as long as they're cute and cuddly they shouldn't be killed, but usually you don't bother looking at scientific facts.
    Maybe you should just stick to blogging about Bechams's bulge or something you know and leave science news reporting to professionals.

    Posted by: Thorir | Jun 20, 2008 10:51:35 AM


  20. Thorir, why do you hate puppies and kittens so much?

    Posted by: crispy | Jun 20, 2008 11:10:36 AM


  21. Thorir- You have a problem with Andy saying,
    ICELAND shot a bear, yet you don't have a problem saying, "YOU AMERICANS have a very peculiar Disney-like attitude towards animals". You say, "Don't judge a whole nation by the action of a group of a few men." But isn't your comment about Americans effectively doing the same thing?

    Posted by: JJ | Jun 20, 2008 11:57:12 AM


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