Tourist guide is fined NOK 12,000 for intimidating polar bear
A tourist guide on Svalbard has been fined NOK 12,000 because he scared a polar bear in an attempt to approach it.
The guide accompanied tourists on snowmobiles when they discovered the polar bear. It was spotted around 900 meters away.
-The bear was calm. The guide decided that the group should drive closer to the polar bear. This disturbed and scared the bear and it therefore started to run away from the group. The guide aborted the chase when it became clear that the bear was scared, the Governor of Svalbard states.
The regulations state that it is forbidden to seek out polar bears in such a way that it is disturbed, regardless of distance. The guide has acknowledged culpability.
– With increasing tourism and traffic on Svalbard, there may be more similar situations where polar bears are disturbed and intimidated. The Governor will monitor developments and possibly introduce a ban in areas if the traffic disrupts polar bears, the Governor writes.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today