Polar Bear Returns to Iceland’s West Fjords Skip to content

Polar Bear Returns to Iceland’s West Fjords

“I was just measuring [the width of] the doorways in the building; I hope it gets in,” said Ester Rut Unnsteinsdóttir, managing director of the Arctic Fox Center in Súðavík, the West Fjords, on the taxidermied polar bear which will be exhibited there, the very polar bear that wandered onto the shores of Hornstrandir where it was shot and killed last year.


The Hornstrandir polar bear. Copyright: the Icelandic Coast Guard.

The Arctic Fox Center was one of four applicants to request the bear. “We heard that one could apply to obtain the taxidermied bear for exhibiting and so we decided to apply,” Ester told bb.is.

“The female bear walked ashore in Hornvík and was shot less than two weeks before we took our first research group there,” she added.

The center is studying the distribution and fertility of foxes in Hornstrandir, an uninhabited nature reserve, along with studying the interaction between foxes and tourists in the region.

The Natural History Museum of Iceland, which was responsible for the taxidermy, decided at its last annual meeting that the Arctic Fox Center won the bid.

The bear will arrive this summer and exhibitions will be held in relation to it in collaboration with the Hornstrandir Center.

“We are in fact storing it for the Hornstrandir Center as they have no exhibition facilities. We will incorporate it into our fox exhibition and connect it with the relations between foxes and bears in the polar regions,” Ester explained.

When asked whether the bear would be named, she responded that it hadn’t been discussed. “But we might very well have a naming competition.”

Click here to read more about the polar bear.


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