ibusinesslines.com August 20, 2018

Polar bear shot dead after attacking cruise line guard

30 July 2018, 03:38 | Justin Tyler

Arctic tourists are increasingly encroaching on polar bears territory

Polar bear

The injured man was airlifted to a hospital where he is recovering from his injuries.

No details were given on his identity or how the attack happened, but the rescue group tweeted that the polar bear was shot dead.

The death of the bear at the hands of another cruise ship employee drew condemnation on social media, with some calling it "abhorrent" and others questioning killing the polar bear for "acting like a wild animal".

Polar bears have been protected in Norway since 1973 and almost 1,000 were counted on Svalbard during a 2015 census. It was not clear who shot the bear.

Tourism in the area has increased in recent years and is at its highest in the summer months.

A polar bear has been shot dead after injuring a guard working for cruise ship tourists visiting an Arctic archipelago in Norway.

The animal was killed by the injured guard's colleague "in an act of self-defence", the German Hapag Lloyd Cruises company said.

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

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

The incident occurred when the four-person polar bear guard team, who are always on board for these expedition cruises as required by law, prepared for a shore leave.

"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.

"Landings are possible only in a few places; these are not there to serve the objective of polar bear observation, on the contrary: polar bears are only observed from aboard ships, from a safe distance".

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.

Critics online, including British comedian Ricky Gervais, blamed the attack on human intrusion into polar bear territories.

Svalbard is a remote, ice-covered wilderness which lies between Norway and the North Pole, where its 3,000 polar bears are thought to outnumber the human population.

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