Polar bear broke into warehouse building of hotel in Svalbard

Polar bearPolar bear.Photo: Hilde Kristin Røsvik / Svalbardposten / NTB scanpix

A polar bear broke into a food store at the hotel ‘Isfjord Radio’ on Svalbard on Sunday morning. After eating a bag of chocolate,the bear escaped.


“A polar bear entered a part of Isfjord Radio by breaking open a door.The Governor is on his way to the place with people from the Norwegian Polar Institute to try to get it out again,’’ Deputy Governor, Arnt Rennan told Svalbardposten newspaper.

The break-in occurred on Saturday night, and at 09.00 the polar bear was still in the building. Half an hour later, the bear was scared when a helicopter came and created a little wind, and jumped out of the building and carried on.


The bear then jumped into the water in the direction north of the Isfjord,said deputy officer, Vidar Arnesen.

“When we received the message from Isfjord Radio, we went to the spot with people from the Norwegian Polar Institute. The bear was stuck when we arrived at 09.30. It was clearly scared by the helicopter and swung north towards the other side of the Isfjord,” said Arnesen.

According to the Governor, there is no indication that anyone has been in danger. There are currently nine guests and five employees at Isfjord Radio.

The guests were scheduled to return to Longyearbyen during Sunday morning,and new guests are not expected until next week.

“The crew at the station has set up a guard to see if the bear returns,” Vidar Arnesen said.

Do not be afraid

Station Manager, Malin Stark discovered the bear’s visit a little before 07.00 on Sunday. She said she was not afraid when she realised that the bear was still inside the building.

‘’No, not exactly scared. But it was an adrenaline rush when it turned out that the bear was still in the building. I went in and woke up the guide who is here with some guests,’’ said Stark to NRK news. She thinks it was a pretty big male bear.

According to Stark, the polar bear seemed clearly stressed, and warm. It had broken all the small windows along the wall, probably because it discovered that it was not possible to get out of the same way as it came in.


The food store at Isfjord Radio was a distinctive goal of Sunday’s polar bear visit. Garbage cans and boxes of food lay empty at the broken shelving sections.

Stark said that the polar bear had eaten a bag of chocolate, and in addition,opened bags of food waste and crushed a number of wine bottles.

“It is not unknown that polar bears have a preference for food, but it is not often that they get into cabins or buildings where people are staying nearby,”Vidar Arnesen told NRK.

According to Arnesen, a similar event occurred in 2014 when a polar bear entered the bar at Hotel Tulipan at Pyramiden on Svalbard.


© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today