A 2 year old male polar bear died yesterday (10 September 2020) during the sedation procedure used by Svalbard researchers. Although most polar bear research is on hold this year due to Covid-19, apparently the annual fall research in Svalbard conducted by Norwegian biologists has been able to continue.
See details of this incident below, as screen caps; entire original in English at Polar Journal.
Read the rest here.
As noted in this report, this is the second polar bear to die during sedation this year: as I reported in a post earlier this year, another two year old male polar bear died at the end of January while conservation officers were attempting to move it out of a populated area. The death of the bear in January was partially explained by the animal’s unusual small size for its age and the prolonged chase before it was tranquilized. However, the bear that died yesterday weighted 144 kg, considered within normal bounds for a 2 year old male. As noted in the Polar Journal report, a necropsy (animal autopsy) will be conducted on the bear.
Here are previous posts about Canadian Inuit objections to tranquilizing polar bears, which is considered ‘invasive research’.
Tranquilizing polar bears and meat tainted with drugs [26 February 2014]
Foxe Basin aerial survey a watershed moment for polar bear research, Part 2 [27 February 2014]
Invasive Research is Alive and Well in Canada – Guest post [2 March 2014]