Wounded Polar Bear – Police investigating North Pole incident

A Polar bear facing a Last Degree ski team has reportedly been wounded – teams on 24-hour watch

On April 10, Belgian guide, Dixie Dansercoer reported an incident with a polar bear at N89° 48′ 11 E133° 04′ 06. While on route, a polar bear “pounced” upon two unattended sleds and “aggressively toying” with them. According to the report, the team of four tried to scare the bear away with a loud noise, but he started walking towards them.

All Arctic teams are obliged to have weapons with them, firstly to scare bears away and, as a last resort, to defend themselves against a polar bear attack. With the bear approaching, says the report, Dixie raised his firearm to his shoulder and team mate Pavel immediately took out his gun. (“Pavel [Sehnal] is a highly skilled marksman and avid hunter in his native Czech Republic.”)

“Dixie asked Pavel to wait to see what the creature would do. It became abundantly clear that the bear was not stopping, so Pavel fired one warning shot. The bear stopped briefly but continued toward them, this time within 10 meters. Pavel then fired a second shot at the ground near the bear’s paw,” reported the team in the blog.

Footsteps of blood

Dansercoer and his team of one man and two women are already back at their respective homes.

Yesterday there were still 25 Last Degree (last 110 km) skiers making their way to 90ºN.

Irina Orlova, one of the organizers of these Last Degree trips, reported that they have received “troubling messages” from a group on the ice that they are “followed by a bear leaving footsteps of blood, we explored from Dirk [Dixie] Dansercoer (who already was at Longyearbyen) the details of the incident. Today all the groups are aware of that danger, they have established a day-and-night duty. And we scheduled a hotwash for all of the guides to elaborate rules for that sort of incidents.”

Orlova says the bear was wounded and then disappeared. “It’s hard to say how appropriate it was for the purpose of self-defense; it really may be do-or-die situation. But. The group leader Dirk Dansercoer did not inform the chief expedition leader at the Barneo Station about the incident. He did not inform the person responsible for the safety of all of us. It means that people who wounded a dangerous creature concealed the fact that all groups following the same course are in danger from now on. It’s hard to predict how a wounded bear behave.”

Norwegian Police

Latest from Irina: “we just learned, the case is more complicated than it appears to be. Mr. Dansercoer misinformed us. Now the incident is [investigated] by Norwegian Police; as far as we know, they have a footage and witness testimony. We’ll inform our readers as soon as we get exact knowledge.” [One of the team members took video footage during the shooting incident.]

Stay tuned.


North Pole Bear: Dixie Dansercoer responds

Injured Polar Bear: Evelyne Binsack’s statement

Previous on Explorersweb about Polar Bear attacks

BSES youth died in polar bear attack on Svalbard

Polar bear attack on Greenland Archaeologist

Updated: Svalbard kayakers attacked by Polar Bear

Barneo is a drifting ice base in the Arctic, which is annually established under the aegis of the Russian Geographical Society Expedition Center “Polyus” Russian Association of Polar Explorers. It is a temporary Ice Camp, built by the Russians every March-April. The camp is built on a suitable ice floe inside 89 degrees North. Primarily the ice floe should be suitable to build a runway of at least 1200m long for an Antonov-74 from Longyearbyen, Svalbard, to land. They, therefore, need a floe of at least 2km long and at east 40 meters away from the nearest open water (lead). Barneo serves Last Degree skiers (last 110km to the NP), marathon runners, scientists, divers, fly-ins to the Pole, and more.

Barneo’s new website; Barneo’s Facebook

Last year, the organizers of Barneo Ice Camp, faced a lot of extraordinary events, when politics overshadowed adventure. Fortunately, Svalbard opened again as gateway to the Ice Station near 90ºS.

Exweb/Pythom interview with Irina Orlova: Barneo and Frans Josef Land

Barneo: Russians and Norwegians reached agreement


The North Pole Rocks

Barneo starts 2017 season

Previous 2017 North Pole full route

North Pole: Martin Murray talks to Exweb/Pythom

North Pole: Sebastian Copeland talks to Exweb/Pythom

2017 North Pole skiers not moving – cancelled expeditions UPDATE

North Pole Interview with Sky, the Dog: “Things might get bloody”

North Pole Interview: Martin Murray with dog, Sky

Interview: Sebastian Copeland, North Pole attempt despite grave notes

2017 Ski North Pole Expedition List by Explorersweb/Pythom

Dixie Dansercoer: North Pole Gear and Antarctica kiting

KK6PGW to RW0BG: Messages From Russia (Interview)

#arctic #northpole #barneo #svalbard #rockband