Published: Mon, July 30, 2018
Science | By Patricia Jimenez

Polar bear killed after it attacked an Arctic cruise ship guard

Polar bear killed after it attacked an Arctic cruise ship guard

An unidentified man was attacked and hurt by a polar bear on Norway's Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, newspaper Aftenposten reported Saturday.

The Joint Rescue Coordination for Northern Norway on Sunday tweeted that the attack occurred when the tourists from the MS Bremen landed on the northernmost island of the Svalbard archipelago, a region between mainland Norway and the North Pole that is known for its remote terrain, glaciers, reindeer and polar bears.

The injured guard, who was not identified, was flown by helicopter to a nearby hospital, according to Hapag-Lloyd Cruises.

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The polar bear was shot dead by another employee as it attacked their colleague.

He was accompanying a tourist expedition from the MS Bremen of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises on Saturday (July 28). That worker was also a polar bear guard. Etminan said the victim did not appear to suffer life-threatening injuries.

Tourism in the area has increased in recent years and is at its highest in the summer months.

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Given that the current "population status" of polar bears is listed as "vulnerable" due to their decreasing number, it is perhaps not surprising that the company has come under intense fire for how the incident played out.

"Let's get too close to a polar bear in its natural environment and then kill it if it gets too close".

"Landings are possible only in a few places; these are not there to serve the objective of polar bear observation, on the contrary: polar bears are only observed from aboard ships, from a safe distance".

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Marcia Paul added: "So we go into their already depleted territory for kicks and the poor bear gets shot cos he's just doing what polar bears do, hunt prey, I'm ashamed to be a human being sometimes". "Almost every year a polar bear is killed in Svalbard after confrontations with humans or because of safety perspective in the settlements". "They then set up a land station and check the area again to make sure that there are no polar bears in sight", the statement continues.

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