|COPENHAGEN - Four Greenland youths who lassoed a swimming polar bear so an impoverished hunter could kill it may have to forfeit the paws and claws he gave them as a trophy, Greenland\'s KNR radio has reported.|
Police are investigating whether the youths broke the law when they caught the bear offshore near the south Greenland village of Saarloq on Sunday, KNR said on its Internet Web site.
Hunting rules in Greenland, which belongs to Denmark, prohibit the use of snares to catch polar bears.
The youths roped the bear from a boat.
One of them, Glenn Roy Olsen, said that even though the animal became \"very aggressive\", forcing them to cut the lasso, they managed to keep the boat between the bear and the shore until the hunter arrived and shot it.
It was unclear whether the lasso used by the youths ought to be regarded as a snare, police superintendent Anders Linnet told KNR. If found guilty of illegal hunting the youths could be fined and must forfeit the trophy.
KNR quoted Poul Erik Frederiksen as saying he and his friends decided to catch the bear to help an impoverished hunter.
Around 100 polar bears are shot every year in Greenland, according to North American non-profit organisation Polar Bears International, which puts the global population of the potentially threatened species at 22,000-25,000.
REUTERS NEWS SERVICE