Norway fines tourist guide for scaring polar bear

Don't come too close!
Don't come too close!

Usually the humans are scared of the wild animals. But in the Norwegian far-north, an Arctic tourist guide has been fined 1,300 euros ($1,500) for scaring off a polar bear.

When a group of tourists on a snowmobile expedition in May spotted a bear standing still, 900 metres (2,950 ft) away, their guide decided to approach the predator to take a closer look.

The animal, spotted on the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, fled the scene.

"The regulations say that it is forbidden to approach polar bears in such a way that they are disturbed, regardless of the distance," the Svalbard governor's office said in a statement.

Located 1,000 miles (1,600 km) from the North Pole and twice the size of Belgium, Svalbard is, according to 2015 state figures, home to nearly 1,000 polar bears, a protected species since 1973.

Five deadly attacks on people have been recorded in about 40 years.


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Aug 25, 2017
"The regulations say that it is forbidden to approach polar bears in such a way that they are disturbed, regardless of the distance"

So how does one not approach a bear you don't know is just over that mound you're headed over? And wouldn't it be better to disturb a bear sufficiently such that it retreats rather than charges you so you have to shoot it? Seems like a poorly written law.

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