Polar bear shot dead after attacking cruise line guard

Polar bear attacks cruise ship employee on Arctic island

Polar bear attacks cruise ship employee on Arctic island

The animal was killed after attacking a cruise ship guard on Norway's Svalbard archipelago, which lies within the Artic Circle, according to the Joint Rescue Coordination for Northern Norway.

A POLAR bear has been shot dead after attacking a German cruise ship worker on a tourist expedition in the Arctic Ocean. He was flown out to Longyearbyen and is undergoing medical treatment. Tourism to the northern region has spiked in recent years, and summer is the high season. The Svalbard archipelago is a known habitat of polar bears.

A Hapag-Lloyd spokesman said the bear had been shot by the man's colleague "in an act of self-defence". The guard suffered head injuries, however, he was responsive after the attack and was airlifted.

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

Etminan said the man was a "polar bear guard" traveling aboard the "MS Bremen" because all cruise ships traveling in the northern region are obliged to have polar bear guards on board.

The man was working as a polar bear guide aboard the MS Bremen.

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"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".

Reportedly two guards went ashore in advance of passengers in order to sweep the area for polar bears.

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

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises has worked comprehensively and co-operatively with the Norwegian authorities to reconstruct and clarify the incident on the ground and will continue to do so. In 2015, Czech Jakub Moravec was pulled out of the tent by a polar bear, but escaped with slight damage.

But critics online say the bear was only acting like a bear, and didn't deserve to die. "Almost every year a polar bear is killed in Svalbard after confrontations with humans or because of safety perspective in the settlements".

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