Polar Bear Shot In IcelandREYKJAVIK.com, Bear Hunting Magazine
Icelandic authorities said they were forced to shoot a polar bear found wandering in order to protect the public after a plan to anaesthetize it was abandoned. The last time a polar bear came ashore in Iceland was in 1988.
The adult male bear weighed around 500 pounds and was thought to have swum to shore from drifting ice. When bears have come to Iceland they have usually travelled most of the way on icebergs from the east coast of Greenland and are excellent swimmers.
"There was a lot of fog in the area and the bear was moving into the fog. We couldn't risk losing him and there was no time to wait for anaesthetics, so we had to shoot him. It was for the safety of the public," Police Superintendent Stefan Vagn Stefansson stated in his report to Icelandic National Radio.
In response to a public outcry at the shooting, the environmental ministry said it would review the incident to see if it could avoid shooting the next bear that lands in Iceland.