Posted by: Team - Bowhead whale | January 27, 2012

The old viking name of Disko Island is indeed Bear Island (Bjørn Øya)

Polar bears in West Greenland are most often seen in the winter when the sea freezes over and the west ice from Canada is near. The bears follow the expanding ice edge and hunt for seals as they go. When we got home, a great mass of people was standing behind our house lighting the darkness with flash lights. Interesting – we thought – and went closer. We found out that our neighbour had shot a male polar bear outside Fortuna bay earlier that day and the men were skinning the beast in the darkness. It had taken him and his companions 6 hours to zig zag through the ice in their boats towing the heavy bear behind. A bear was also shot in the nearby town Kangerluk while tracks of even more bears have been seen in Disko fjord, the next fjord north from here.


Polar bear being flensed. Photo: O. Tervo

Ps. We have just heard that yet another bear has been caught off Uiffaq (a bit north west from here).