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> Polar Bears
Robert_Oddo
post Jul 21 2005, 04:19 PM
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Polar Bears

Everyone wants to know about polar bears when you talk about Svalbard. Yes, there are polar bears here and people do encounter them. They are so common that when most people go out of town they carry a gun with them in the event they encounter a bear. I personally do not want to encounter a bear but believe in being prepared.

In doing our field work there are a number of protocols we are following with respect to bears. We will work in the field in groups with no less than three people. Each group will have a designated person in the group with a rifle and at least 5 rounds of ammunition. In addition, each group will have a satellite phone and a flare gun. We will also have flare pens with us. In the event that we see a bear and it is far from us, we would move in a direction away from the bear. If it is moving towards us, we would make a lot of noise and start shooting flares in the direction of the bear. In addition, we would load our rifle. If the bear continued to move towards us we would continue to try to move away, make a lot of noise and shoot flares. If it gets within 50 or so meters of us then we have to contemplate shooting it.. But this is a last resort and taken seriously. If you shoot a bear, you must call the governor of Svalbardsí office and an investigation is conducted.

Personally, I am happy seeing polar bears in zoos and in National Geographic. Hopefully, this field season will be free of bears.
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Tom_Crumrine
post Jul 25 2005, 10:50 AM
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Bob,

I spent my whole field season being careful about grizzly bear's and then yesterday I nearly ran over a bear cub while mt. biking in the woods near my house. Weird.

I hope your field work is free of polar bear interactions. Looks like you are having a good time--enjoy.

Tom Crumrine
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Robert_Oddo
post Jul 25 2005, 08:57 PM
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Thanks Tom!!
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