COPENHAGEN (AFP) - Three teenagers have been fined 3,000 Danish kroner (400 euros, 530 dollars) by a Greenland court for lassoing a polar bear in a stunt they said they carried out because they were bored, the court said.

Their conviction on appeal upheld a lower court's ruling from February.

The incident took place in August 2004, when the quartet lassoed the bear before calling a hunter to kill it. Only three of the four appealed the lower court's verdict.

Animal protection laws in Greenland, a semi-autonomous Danish territory in the North Atlantic, prohibit the capture of live animals in the wild.

The hunter was meanwhile fined 5,000 kroner for using an unauthorized rifle to put the animal down.

Greenlandic authorities have since 2005 tightened regulations concerning the polar bear hunt, limiting the annual quota to between 200 and 250 bears.

The quotas are aimed at protecting the bears, which are threatened by the effects of climate warming in the Arctic. Warmer temperatures have caused the ice cap to melt, shrinking the bears' hunting grounds and making it increasingly difficult for them to find food.

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