Well, the polar bear that was discovered roaming around up north yesterday and which they were hoping to capture alive was shot and killed this afternoon.
According to reports, the Danish experts from the Copenhagen zoo who arrived around midday were unable to get close enough to the bear to shoot it with tranquilizers. Apparently it became frightened and ran towards the seashore, so according to the police chief in the area “we had no choice but to shoot it”. [Don’t quite get the connection there – but hey, what do I know.]
Apparently it was a female bear, fairly old, and injured on both front paws. Which supports the hunch I had yesterday … I thought it was pretty suspicious that the animal kept taking naps all the time. Sure, maybe it had swum a long distance, but still. It just didn’t seem right. Also, it was very emaciated and, according to the Danish expert, would probably not have been able to tolerate the tranquilizers.
Anyway, it’s sad that it turned out this way. The thought of being able to rescue the bear and transport it back to its natural habitat was elating, but as our Minister for the Environment said [who actually interrupted her summer holiday to fly home due to this event] it was a risky operation. A lot of things would have had to come together for it to be a success, and unfortunately they did not.
On another note, I’m now starting to have serious reservations about our hiking trip up in that area next month. When the first bear was sighted EPI and I joked about the possibility of encountering a polar bear during our hike – but now that the second one has been sighted, it no longer seems to warrant that kind of flippancy. Particularly as experts say that it’s not unlikely that there will be more. [Yikes!]
Meanwhile, this whole episode starring the polar bear has completely superseded any reports of our National Day celebrations … yes, today is 17. júní, our National Day, and in lieu of a proper post about the occasion, I’ll simply defer to the ones I’ve written in the past, that I’m sure are still quite relevant: here and here and here.
THOUGH I CAN TELL YOU THAT IT’S SUNNY
And consequently fine weather for a National Day outing. The afternoon celebrations are mostly focused on families with small children, with lots of play equipment, bands, puppet theatre, that sort of thing. The evening belongs to adolescents and older, although sadly it also tends to turn into a bit of a drunkfest for the younger teenagers. We may head into town this evening; EPI’s sister always celebrates her birthday on this day so we spent most of the afternoon at her place and we’ll see how much energy we have left later on to go watch the revelers downtown. Although my fave Nicelandic band is playing on Arnarhóll hill at some point this evening [there are bands playing all over, all evening] so we may take a stroll down to see if we can catch them. There’s a bit of a pesky wind, like we’ve had all week; currently 15°C [57F], sunrise this morning was at 2.56 am and sunset due for 12.01 tomorrow morning.