Iceland Mag

13 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag

Animals

Polar bear sighted on Melrakkaslétta peninsula: Police and Coast Guard on alert

By Staff

  • A long way from home This polar bear was spotted in Hornstrandir nature preserve a few years ago. Photo/Icelandic Coast Guard

  • Melrakkaslétta peninsula A remote and sparsely populated area. Photo/Loftmyndir.is

A polar bear is believed to be roaming Melrakkaslétta heath in North East Iceland. The bear was spotted late afternoon/early evening by three men who were trout fishing. The men, two Frenchmen and one Icelander, saw what they believed to be a polar bear.

According to the local news site Vísir the men were too startled and scared to stop to take a photo of the animal, but instead ran toward their car. The men ran three kilometers (1.9 mi) before reaching the vehicle and notifying police. The Police in North East Iceland has been unable to confirm the presence of the bear as no other reports of its sighting have been received. The Police has requested assistance from the Coast Guard, which will fly over the area today to search for the bear.

Melrakkaslétta peninsula is one of Iceland's most remote regions. Two small fishing villages are located on the coast of Melrakkaslétta peninsula, Kópasker and Raufarhöfn in addition to several sheep farms along the coast. During summer sheep graze in the heaths of Melrakkaslétta. The heaths are also one of the primary habitats of Arctic foxes in Iceland.

Read more: Amazing photographs of sheep being herded through snow covered no-man’s lands in North Iceland

Polar bears are not native to Iceland, but solitary bears have reached Iceland from Greenland on icefloats. Polar bears are extremely dangerous and people should under no circumstances approach polar bears in the wild. The Police in North East Iceland has told people to be on guard on Melrakkaslétta and to report any polar bear sightings immediately to the police.

 

Related content

Editor's Picks