Sunday, 7 August 2011

Polar Perils

Sad news about the boy killed by a Polar bear (with others injured) whilst camping with the British Schools Expedition Service on Spitsbergen in the Svalbard Islands of Norway ( http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2023325/Norway-polar-bear-attack-Michael-Reid-hero-shot-dead.html?ito=feeds-newsxml). There is a claim that the group  were camping in a bear 'hot spot' (http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2011/08/07/polar-bear-camp-was-perilous-place-to-put-up-camp-says-wildlife-film-maker-115875-23325235/). It also seems that the bears are generally spending reduced time on the declining ice floes looking for seals (a common prey) and have been forced to scavenge for alternative food sources on land. I would simply make 2 points. The first is that it is virtually impossible for people to be 100% safe in the vicinity of such animals (one of the very reasons that people go to this location). The second is that the bear didn't perceive itself as doing anything wrong (it's just the way they are). I do hope that the final outcomes don't involve a further removal of bears and/or a reduction in 'adventurous' activities.

1 comment:

Katherine said...

Yep. As my daughter said at 3 when she saw me killing a Gisborne cockroach: "They're just trying to make a living!"

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