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

A polar bear attacked and injured a polar bear guard who was leading tourists off a cruise ship on the Svalbard archipelago between mainland Norway and the North Pole.

The attack took place after the MS Bremen cruise ship landed on the most northern island of the Svalbard archipelago, a region located between mainland Norway and the North Pole, the Joint Rescue Coordination for Northern Norway said on Twitter.

The unidentified man suffered unspecified injuries to his head, but they were not life-threatening and he was in stable condition shortly after the Saturday attack. Landings are possible only in a few places; these are not there to serve the goal of polar bear observation, on the contrary: polar bears are only observed from aboard ships, from a safe distance. The other guards shot the bear after trying unsuccessfully to evict the animal, the company said.

Arctic tourism to the region has risen sharply in the last few years and is now in high season.

A polar bear has been shot dead after it attacked a cruise ship employee guiding tourists off a vessel in Norway.

Polar bear
The polar bear was shot dead after the attack prompting anger on social media

"He was flown out, was responsive, and is now undergoing medical treatment", Etminan said to The Associated Press.

"Hapag-Lloyd Cruises is very aware of its responsibility when traveling in environmentally sensitive areas and respects all nature and wildlife", the company statement said.

According to Hapag-Llyod Cruises, the incident occurred when the four-person polar bear guard team was preparing for a shore leave. "When there's only 25,000 polar bears left on the planet, every one matters".

"Landings are possible only in a few places; these are not there to serve the goal of polar bear observation, on the contrary: polar bears are only observed from aboard ships, from a safe distance". The region is known for its remote terrain, glaciers, reindeer and polar bears.

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".

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