Polar Bears International

5/3/2011 1:16:52 PM

Stray Polar Bear Shot in Iceland

Polar bear swimming in open waterFor the third time in the past three years, a polar bear stranded on Iceland's shores was shot and killed by authorities, who have no other methods in place for rescuing the bears and transporting them to safety.

Official policy issued by the Environment Agency of Iceland is to kill polar bears that arrive on the island nation.

But JÌ_n Gnarr of the Best Party, mayor of ReykjavÌ_k, told visir.is that he regrets the polar bear killing: "As an animal protectionist I find it sad that this is still our only option when polar bears swim ashore."

His party has set up a charity website to collect donations so that a shelter for stray polar bears who wander to Iceland can be constructed. The website is also a petition site calling for the Icelandic government to change its policy towards the bears.

Scientists expect to see an increase in polar bear encounters as the sea ice melts and the bears are driven ashore. The PBI Polar Bear Sustainability Alliance is putting plans in place to help with the situation ahead.

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