Slain Iceland Polar Bear Was Young and Healthy Skip to content

Slain Iceland Polar Bear Was Young and Healthy

Initial research of the carcass of the polar bear that was shot in Thistilfjördur, east Iceland, on January 27 show that the bear was a healthy female.

The polar bear probably came from east Greenland. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

Even though the bear was young, it had become independent from its mother, as reported by Keldur, the University of Iceland Institute for Experimental Pathology this week.

Polar bear cubs follow their mothers the first 27 months of their lives. They are born in the bear’s lair in winter, usually in December or January, Fréttabladid reports.

Detailed research of the bear’s teeth will determine its age accurately, but when its size—the bear was 173 centimeters long and weighed 138 kilos—is compared with measurements of polar bears from east Greenland, it appears to have been four years old.

Further research, which is undertaken in cooperation with Danish scientists who have studied Greenlandic polar bears for years, will also determine whether the Thistilfjördur bear was infected by parasites.

The animal’s skull and bones will be cleaned and preserved at the Icelandic Institute of Natural History.

Click here to read more about the polar bear.

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