Arctic is actually lousy with polar bears, which pose increasing threat to humans

Arctic is actually lousy with polar bears, which pose increasing threat to humans
Not as stranded as previously indicated.

Meanwhile, in Svalbard, Norway – where polar bear populations have increased by 42 per cent since 2004 – polar bears are becoming an increasing problem in inhabited areas, with more and more having to be shot to protect humans.

“Four polar bears have been shot so far this year,” Vidar Arnesen, a chief police inspector for the governor of Svalbard, told Reuters. “In a normal year, one or two would be shot.” …

Svalbard was the site of a horrific incident in 2011 when Horatio Chapple, an English schoolboy on an expedition organised by the British Schools Exploring Society was killed in his tent by a marauding bear. The bear mauled and wounded four other adventurers before it was finally shot. …

[D]espite the best efforts of environmentalists to have the bear classified as “Endangered”, it remains stubbornly one notch below on the IUCN Red List in the merely “Vulnerable” category.

Even this, though, is probably an exaggeration. As even the (uber green) IUCN was forced to admit last year, polar bear populations are not declining.

Indeed, in the last fifty years their population has increased five- or six-fold from around 5,000 to between 22,000 and 31,000.

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