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29th Jul 2018

Polar bear shot dead after attacking cruise ship guard in the North Pole

Alan Loughnane

So, so sad

A polar bear has been shot dead after it attacked a cruise ship guard on Norway’s Svalbard archipelago within the Arctic Circle.

The Joint Rescue Coordination for Northern Norway tweeted that the attack occurred when the tourists from the MS Bremen cruise ship landed on the most northern 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 guard, who is assigned to protect tourists from polar bears, was unresponsive when he was airlifted to hospital but is said to have suffered non-life threatening injuries and is now in a stable condition.

The animal was shot by a second guard but a spokesperson for the German cruise ship’s operator said it was killed “in an act of self-defence”.

Officials said the attack had occurred when tourists on the MS Bremen landed on the most northern island in the Svalbard archipelago, an island between Norway and the North Pole.

Tourism in the area has increased dramatically in the last number of years and is now in high season.

The area is a wilderness of glaciers and ice caps in the Arctic Circle and is home to around 3,000 polar bears.