Horror in West Fjords as poachers "kill everything that moved"
A tour operator stumbled upon a very unpleasant scene on Saturday in the Hornstrandir nature reserve. Five poachers had squatted a rescue cabin leaving behind a seal carcass, equipped with guns, nets and fishing rods and "had obviously intended to kill everything that moved," as described by eye witness Rúnar Karlsson.
The seal carcass was fitted with equipment that sent a signal into the cabin as soon as something moved, obviously to shoot foxes that tried to eat it. Foxes in this remote, beautiful protected area are reputed to be so tame that they eat from people's palm.
Rúnar Karlsson, who runs the tour company Borea Travel caught the poachers red-handed. "We saw them going back and forth on a Zodiac, getting their nets out of the water." He adds that the poachers had made a mess of the rescue cabin, left boiled seal meat in a saucepan and had started a fire in the moss to cook food. They had thrown plastic containers in the fire as well as a gas cylinder.
According to Karlsson the men in question have a very bad reputation in the area. "I've heard stories of nutcases like these going into the protected parkland but it's rare to actually have the evidence right before you." Karlsson has pressed charges to police.
The Hornstrandir Nature Reserve is one of the most remote places of Iceland, reputed for its rugged beauty.