An American couple contacted the police station in Borgarnes, West Iceland, yesterday with images of what they thought to be fresh polar bear footprints. The footprints were found near Söguhellir (‘Sagacave’), west of Arnarstapi on Snæfellsnes peninsula.
On inspection, the police concluded that the footprints were old and from another animal or a person.
To be on the safe side, chief police officer at Borgarnes Ólafur Guðmundsson sent a patrol car to the scene but it was confirmed that the prints were either old shoe prints, with the sole patters just visible.
In an interview with mbl.is, Ólafur said that the tourists were afraid to enter the cave as they were concerned that the polar bear might have been inside. After taking the photographs, the pair quickly left the scene.
According to Ólafur, no polar bear has ever visited Snæfellsnes peninsula.
In July last year, two tourists reported a polar bear sighting in Húnaflói Bay in North Iceland. However, the animal turned out to be a seal.
Polar bears have been spotted in Iceland in the past, having made their way to the country from Greenland on sea ice.
Click here to read more about last year’s sighting.