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UNIS catch with polar bear

7 August 2009 12:00

It has become a good tradition that UNIS course AB201 is joining us for a goose catch. With 16 extra helping hands and a large boat to our disposal, we can try an ambitious catch at Storholmen (other web log entries from the UNIS course visiting:
2006 storholmen catch,
2007 lecturing,
2007 herding geese and
2007 storholmen catch).
landing all equipment and people setting up the net kayaks on the water

The hunt is on. We walk with a larg group along the beach and I direct small groups of students to different places to put the geese to the water. The kayaks and zodiac herd the geese along the coast towards the net. Fokje passes a seal resting on a stone on 4 meter distance. It is a great succes. During the hunt, we let a few families escape, because we have a lot of geese already.

In the end phase, the two kayaks are left and right of the goose flock appraching the beach and the zodiac is speeding up in between the kayaks. The geese run on the beach towards the net.
People ruunning along the waterline close off the escape route and push the geese in the cage at the end of the net.
separating the goslings from the adults Anouk Elise the blood processing unit
I am measuring and ringing and the students learn how to sample blood. We have processed all adults and one third of the goslings when.....

Polar bear!

We had two polar bear guards on top of the beach, but the captain of the boat warns us via the radio. He was watching us from his boat and saw the polar bear behind us on the next island Midtholmen. The bear walks over the island and goes in the water. It swims to Obervasjonsholmen. There is no discussion. UNIS protocols and my own guidelines are very clear. The students are immedeately send to the boat. We release all geese and goslings (even the unringed ones). While someone is keeping a constant watch on the bear, we break-up the net and pack our equipment. The bear is not approaching and we have cleaned the beach in 30 minutes. While Fokje and Anouk kayak to the boat, escorted by a motorboat with Thomas and Elise, Janwillem gives them some extra speed by telling that they have to hurry because the bear is approaching.
Me measuring in the background, Thomas is supervising three students  
Anouk made all the pictures and this video.



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