An Iceland Coast Guard helicopter is on the lookout for polar bears in the West Fjords

Concern is higher after unusually large amounts of Arctic pack ice have drifted especially close to Iceland this season.

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A photo of a polar bear spotted in Skagafjörður, North Iceland in 2016. This polar bear was discovered near a farm where children were playing and was shot by local police. (Rax / Ragnar Axelsson / Iceland Monitor)

The Arctic pack ice that is reaching Iceland’s West Fjords bring’s with it the danger of polar bears, and a National Coast Guard helicopter has been dispatched to the area to look for them.

Polar bears are not native to Iceland, but sometimes drift to shore on pack ice and can be extremely dangerous. All polar bears who have walked onto Iceland’s shores have been shot.

On board the Coast Guard helicopter TF-SYN are members of the West Fjords police and the Iceland Environment Agency.

The concern is elevated as unusual weather patterns have brought especially large amounts of Greenland pack ice close to Iceland this season.

The pack ice and a massive ice berg can now be seen from the Litla Ávík weather station in Strandir.

Icelandic Coast Guard helicopter TF-SYN photographed in march 2018. The helicopter has been tasked with searching for polar bear in Iceland’s West Fjords. (Evbpro / CC SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons)