Polar bear spotter needed in Norway

  • Article by: KIM ODE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 13, 2013 - 3:23 PM
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Norway is on the lookout for workers to watch out for polar bears.

Photo: Associated Press file,

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Given what a tough winter we’ve just had, here’s a summer job for which a Minnesotan should already be acclimated.

The remote Norwegian island of Svalbard is seeking a polar bear spotter to warn scientific researchers who work in the island region halfway between the northernmost coast of Norway and the North Pole. The successful applicant will be busy: Polar bears on the archipelago outnumber humans 3,000 to 2,400.

The three-week stint starts July 8 and, as reported by the Associated Press, requires outdoor skills, a competence with firearms and the keen ability to spot white creatures on a white landscape. A spokesperson from the Svalbard governor’s office said the spotter’s use of a firearm should be minimal “just as long as they have a loud voice” to scare off any bears.

While the “help wanted” listing may sound humorous, the realities of the job are serious: In 2011, a polar bear mauled to death a British teen in a youth group expedition there. Polar bears are considered one of the few wild species that will actively hunt humans, although they rarely get to do so, given their isolation.

So if you go, remember: You came to them.

No word on the pay. To contact the governor’s office, visit http://bit.ly/18i4zK1. □

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