A polar bear was spotted today in Thistilfjordur, northeast Iceland by a farm worker who was stood less than 100 metres from the bear when she noticed.
Police took the decision to shoot the bear, as conditions need to be right to affect a rescue – chief among them the stipulation that people not be endangered.
The bear’s arrival in Iceland is highly unusual. Two polar bears were shot and killed in Iceland in the summer of 2008 and no others had been spotted for around 20 years before.
The three reasons stated for the decision to shoot the bear were: human safety, the abundance of polar bears in eastern Greenland (where the bear was almost certainly from) and the huge costs involved in capturing it alive and returning it home.