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Polar Bear Swam to Iceland ... then Shot!

Ah, Iceland ... What's up with all these Scandinavian countries? (Wait, is Iceland Scandinavian, Nordic, or both? Anyways ...)

Here's a sad story of a polar bear, the first to swim to Iceland in 15 years, only to be shot dead by police:

The bear was spotted nonchalantly strolling along a road near the town of Skagafjördur yesterday morning around 9.30am by a farmer.

Experts say it had arrived on an ice floe and local laws stipulate they can be killed – despite the fact they are on the endangered species list – if one threatens humans or livestock.

Stefán Vagn Stefánsson, the chief police officer of a neighbouring town, took the decision to shoot it dead. He claimed no narcotics were available and a gun necessary to fire such drugs was in another part of Iceland 'so therefore it was necessary to kill it'. The animal was moving and we could not risk losing sight of it. Weather conditions were foggy and the bear was moving quickly.

But his version of events was hotly disputed by the chief veterinarian in the town of Blönduó. Egill Steingrímsson said he had the knockout drugs neccesary to immobilise the bear.


Previously on Neatorama: Rare White Moose? Let's Shoot It, Said Norwegians

It's one of the five Nordic countries (Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland), of whom 3 make up Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden and Denmark).
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This is sad to read. It kills me how they're going extinct, and it pisses me off even more than someone just shoots the poor & hungry thing. Was it really threatening someone? Hardly anyone lives in Iceland anyways, and their beaches aren't really that packed full of people.
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That's cute...the first part with the ice flow and the walking about not the helping the species disappear part. These bears will definitely become extinct soon unless they manage to migrate to places with food and shelter..apparently Iceland is no bears allowed.
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Firstly, Malu was right about the Nordic vs Scandinavia split.

Secondly, what should Icelanders do with an animal that is wandering around hungry where the animal is far away from its natural habitat? Shoot it to protect the local wildlife (which is non-preditory except foxes and birds of prey perhaps). A polar bear has no place in the islands wildlife.

Thirdly, it is true that not many people live there (about 300.000) but you can bet your ass that some tourists were destined to be polar bear dinner within a day or two.

Finally, what's one polar bear killed by an Icelandic gun compared to the melting of the north pole, the polar bear's (and Santa's) home, by way of global warming from big industrial nations such as the USA? It's one bear people, so had the north pole not been melting he would probably not had floated to his imminent death in Iceland to begin with - so stop polluting and killing the bears that way before you lose it over one bear that died of "natural" causes.

Hilsen from big brother Denmark:)
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Oh my God, what misty-eyed nonsense being spouted here....

These are BEARS people, not cuddly toys! They are large, quick and cunning predators, and a clear danger to human beings. Hello, is there no-one left in the world with a modicum of common sense?

Polar Bear populations are at the highest level ever recorded, and this encroachment into human habitats will continue. And it's not because of the North Pole melting....

Some basic knowledge of science goes a long way. Fear-mongered fairy-tales being accepted on faith is a sad artifact of the dumbing-down of our education systems.
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ugh global warming ::yawn

Note to polar bears: Dont go on holiday to Iceland. I know you are POLAR bears and that it has ICE right in the name but trust me on this one.
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Um. Just to point something out, humans are encroaching on everything ELSE'S habitat. We weren't here first. Actually, we were here last.
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Lea, I don't think there is any historical evidence of humans encroaching upon Polar Bear populations in Iceland.

Localised overpopulation (for instance, with Polar Bears) causes encroachment into other species' territory.

What exactly is wrong with Darwin's "survival of the fittest" evolutionary theory, anyway? Shouldn't the most intelligent and resourceful creature be the survivor - this ensures the optimum use of resources, where less adaptive creatures fail.
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Kaboom: No one said anything about polar bears being cuddly. Almost no wild animal is cuddly but that has nothing to do with peoples' interest about conserving nature. And I have no idea what school you went to or what books you read but polar bears' habitats are definitely dwindling away and while the population is currently stable, scientists predict the migrating behavior to increase while populations decrease drastically in the next decades due to global warming and pollution. I do agree however that in the grand scheme of things 99% of species will die off eventually so I'm not a super conservationist but the knee-jerk reaction of the Icelander cop was still startling.
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Umm, if a polar bear was wondering around my town/village, I would hope the police would take care of it. And if nessesary - kill it.
Polar bears stalk, hunt and kill people.
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Biltmore: I wish you would have been here on one of our "beaches" to meet the poor & hungry thing, that could have been one ugly bear hug ;)

Polar bears spotted in Iceland are killed, you don't want one wonder around you or your children. It's just been a long time since one showed up, way before the internet ;)

For the haste killing, I think it could have come to play that the rights to bear fall to the location of the slaying. I don't think they wanted to loose the bear over to the next town ;) And the fact that this was all over the local news and the place was filling up with spectators.
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i wonder if anyone is going to burn the "mayor's" house down in reprisal over this one........i still consider both a waste (the cougar and the polar bear).
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I find it interesting to read the comments from people far removed from the events. Would the comments have been different if the polar bear was approaching their towns and homes? Also, as noted in the article, this was the first bear to stop by in Iceland for 15 years. If the drugs were available to sedate the bear, what then? The necessary equipment to airlift the bear were not there and where do you airlift a bear to?
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I'd shoot a bear if it began to run toward a crowd of observers (which it says in the article). Also, polar bears aren't threatened. The WWF and other people tried to get it listed as such, but the foremost authority on polar bears wouldn't agree to it because "the polar bear population has increased dramatically over the past three decades."

These things aren't cuddly, they'll kill you. They aren't all dying out, they're reproducing quickly.
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Oh, and Parker, if your knee-jerk reaction is to let a bear run into a crowd of people, I am going to make sure to stay as far away from you as possible, especially in bear territory.
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The animals are our brothers and sisters. Our great Mother Nature and wise Father time do not want this happening. If our brothers and sisters die, our world starts to fade away. The world was so beautiful! Why turn it into a harsh place where nothing can live? We can save our brothers and sisters. I will not make the world die.
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