Cute, gentle animals prohibited on Svalbard: cats

In a wild land like the Svalbard Islands, everything that is ordinary becomes magically extraordinary. The flora and fauna of this territory, situated just below the Arctic circle, is, to say the least, surprising. But which cute animals often leave their prints on the snow that accumulates along the roads? And which animals instead are prohibited?

Norwegian fauna in no man’s land

The animals of the Norwegian fauna living in the Svalbard Islands seem to come right out of the tales of myths and legends: arctic foxes with their shiny coats, polar bears of such a bright white that they are camouflaged against the snow, reindeers with their velvet-like coats and walruses with long tusks, like gentle giants. These are certainly cute and adorable animals… from a distance! Particularly the bears, which should always be observed while keeping a certain distance away.

Birdwatching on the Svalbard Islands: what arctic birds can be spotted?

The Svalbard Islands are dream places for all adventurers, but even more so for enthusiastic naturalists. The flora and fauna are unique here. Visitors unafraid of venturing onto “battle” ships and sleeping in tents lashed by the icy wind can participate in birdwatching expeditions to observe the extraordinary arctic birds found in the area. Some, among the many different species, include: Barnacle goose, Ivory gull, Little auk and, with a bit of luck, even a truly magical bird like the Snowy owl.

No other cat besides me: Kesha against the Norwegian cats

If Instagram or YouTube could talk and we asked who the true star among cute animals is, the answer would surely be “cats”. For this reason, we asked ourselves if, among the different types of Norwegian cats, there is one found on these islands. The answer is an emphatic no! Even worse: cats are prohibited on the Svalbard Islands. This strict but necessary law was introduced to protect the local fauna and safeguard the local bird life. It appears, however, that someone crafty brought one from Russia under false pretences – on paper, in fact, it appears he was registered as a fox. This ginger cat called Kesha is, therefore, the archipelago’s only cat, who has become so popular that it is said many residents travel miles on foot to find her and stroke her for a few minutes. An unusual but prohibited way to get warm on the Svalbard Islands? Listen to the purring of a small kitty.

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