So, it has transpired that the polar bear that came to visit yesterday was not only dead tired, it was also sick. More specifically, it was infected with trichinae, a parasite that is reportedly common in bears and other mammals. It lodges in muscles and tissues and causes a disease that can be very painful, apparently. Moreover, it was not injured on its paws as I mistakenly reported yesterday, but rather had chafe wounds beneath its front legs from swimming an enormous distance. Plus, it had not eaten anything for a long while.
I know it’s a lethal animal and everything, but I can’t help feeling awfully sorry for it [- her. It was a female. See, I’m personifying it already]. Apparently the expert from the Danish zoo had to get within 30 metres of it to shoot it with a tranquilizer, and when the vehicles closed in on it, it simply fled towards the sea, at which point a decision was made to shoot it.
Not that it would have lived much longer anyway. I suppose this second polar bear incident was handled in the best way possible – every attempt was made to do the right thing, but without success.
More grave, however, is the implication of these two polar bear sightings within 14 days. I think all the experts agree that it means the changes to their habitat north of this country are significant and serious. Which probably also means that we will have more such visitors. It’s kind of freaky – on the one hand you want to think of them as endangered [as they are] and you want to help, on the other there’s no looking past the fact that they present a very real threat to human life.
Which of course means that we need something like a scarecrow – but for polar bears. What are polar bears scared of, anyway? Whales? Monkfish? Michael Jackson?
In any case, the Ministry of the Environment is working overtime at the moment to come up with a response plan for when the next bear shows up – one of the things that has been criticized is that no such plan exists, hence the mess they made of the first incident. Secondly, the coast guard is scanning the area up north with helicopters to see if any more bears are roaming the area. As I’ve said previously, it’s easy to do that now, what with the extended daylight, but what about next winter, when a polar bear could easily sneak up behind the local farmers in the darkness and yell BOO! Response-plan that!
Anyway, if you could just have a think about what a scarebear would look like and get back to me, that would be great, particularly as I’d like to be able to position it in the general vicinity of our hiking trip this summer. Ta.
I’M GETTING KINDA SICK OF ALL THIS WIND
It’s beautiful out there – the midsummer sun in all its glory – but it’s so damn windy! And of course, in Iceland windy means chilly. And for YT it means a pain in the neck because I’ve got this bum neck from my two whiplash injuries and the moment a cold draft hits the back of it I know I’m in for an unpleasant time. And I really don’t feel like wearing a windbreaker with a hood. Sigh. Life’s a beach. Right now temps of 12°C [54F]. Sunrise this morning at 2.56 am [the sun was a-blastin’ at 3.30 am this morning at which time YT awoke to find young AAH was not yet home] and sunset will be at 12.02 tomorrow morning. And I shall now stop talking about polar bears unless something really crazy happens, like if one comes knocking on my bedroom door tonight and asks for a pillow.