Polar Bear Shot After 200-Mile Swim

It was the first to arrive in Iceland for 15 years
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 6, 2008 8:27 AM CDT

(Newser) – Police in Iceland shot dead a polar bear that swam more than 200 miles to reach the island nation, the Guardian reports. The bear, thought to be the first to reach Iceland since 1993, probably came from Greenland or a floating chunk of Arctic ice. Authorities said they had to shoot the bear for public safety, but conservationists are furious.

"There was fog up in the hills," a police spokesman said. "We took the decision to kill the bear before it could disappear into the fog." Police said it was impossible to sedate the bear at the time, but that was disputed by a vet in a nearby town, who said he had the necessary tranquilizer in the trunk of his car and could have been there within the hour.