Polar bear killed after attacking cruise line employee on Arctic archipelago

Polar bear killed after attacking cruise line employee on Arctic archipelago

Polar bear killed after attacking cruise line employee on Arctic archipelago

The man was injured after the polar bear attacked him whilst he was leading a group of tourists to a remote Arctic archipelago on an apparent sightseeing tour, Norwegian authorities have confirmed.

Three years ago a Czech man who visited the archipelago to watch a solar eclipse was attacked in his tent by a polar bear.

The polar bear was then shot dead "in an act of self-defense" by the second guard, a spokeswoman said.

The guard, a German national, suffered non-life-threatening head injuries and is said to be in a stable condition after being airlifted to the hospital in the town of Longyearbyen, on Spitsbergen island.

If the guards had been successful in securing the land and there were no polar bears surrounding the site, tourists would have been permitted to disembark the ship to explore the land. The Svalbard archipelago is a known habitat of polar bears.

And despite the fact that the polar bear injured the guard, Twitter is furious that a threatened species was killed.

"He was attacked by a bear and bitten in the head", Ole Jakob Malmo, chief superintendent of Svalbard police, said.

Polar bear killed after attacking cruise line employee on Arctic archipelago

Usually "as soon as an animal approaches, the landing stops immediately", Krause added.

Animal activists are heavily criticising a German cruise line after an employee shot and killed a polar bear that attacked a colleague.

He explained that usually, if a wild bear is seen, guards "shoot into the air" to scare the animal away.

Polar bears have been protected in Norway since 1973 and almost 1,000 were counted on Svalbard during a 2015 census. "We are extremely sorry that this incident has happened".

Officials in Svalbard frequently issue warnings about the dangers posed by polar bears.

But critics online say the bear was only acting like a bear, and didn't deserve to die. The area's 3 000 polar bears outnumber the human population, although that is probably set to change in the years to come. "This great predator has little respect for humans and unsafe situations can easily arise if people get too close", says the NPI, Norway's central governmental institution for scientific research in the Arctic.

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