Published: Mon, July 30, 2018
Science | By Cecil Little

Polar bear shot dead on Svalbard

Polar bear shot dead on Svalbard

A polar bear was shot and killed after attacking a cruise ship guard on an archipelago in Norway. On Saturday morning, however, the injured guard did not see the polar bear, he said.

Svalbardposten, who was first to report about the incident, says the tourists belonged to the cruise ship "MS Bremen".

Another posted: "So - at a time when polar bears are hungry, when there is no sea ice, you put yourself in the middle of its dinner plate and are surprised by its reaction and shoot the bear?"

He suffered a head injury, the cruise company said. The other guards shot the bear after trying unsuccessfully to evict the animal, the company said.

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In recent years, the area has become a popular destination for arctic tourism, especially during the summer months.

She said all cruise ships traveling in the northern region are obliged to have polar bear guards on board.

Another ship employee shot the bear.

Spokeswoman Negar Etminan said: 'He was flown out, was responsive, and is now undergoing medical treatment'.

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Norwegian authorities said a polar bear on Saturday attacked and injured a polar bear guard who was leading tourists off a cruise ship on an Arctic archipelago.

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 to close". "On the contrary", the statement explains, "polar bears are only observed from aboard ships, from a safe distance".

"They had no right to get themselves into a situation where they needed to defend themselves", said one Twitter user.

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"And it should be remembered that our crew members are extremely competent in polar matters and bring years of experience to bear in this region". "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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