Polar bear attacks cruise ship employee on Arctic island

Polar bear attacks cruise ship employee on Arctic island

Polar bear killed after attacking man on island off northern Norway

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises said its ship was docked at Spitsbergen, the largest island on Norway's Svalbard archipelago, on Saturday when the bear attacked a guard hired to go on shore before passengers to ensure there aren't any polar bears in the area.

The German victim, who worked as a guard, is awake and in a stable condition with moderate injuries. The team failed to spot that there was a bear on the shore and it charged the man.

The second guard shot and killed the bear "in an act of self-defense", a spokesperson told the AP.

Polar bear attacks cruise ship employee on Arctic island

Meanwhile fellow Twitter user Gareth Stringer commented: "Polar bear shot for being a Polar Bear".

If the guards had been successful in securing the land and there were no polar bears surrounding the site, tourists would have been permitted to disembark the ship to explore the land.

The Joint Rescue Coordination for Northern Norway on Sunday tweeted that the attack occurred when the tourists from the MS Bremen landed on the northernmost 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.

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"He is out of danger, with no threat to life", the post reads.

The guard was injured during a trip to an island in Svalbard, which is located between mainland Norway and the North Pole.

Tourist expeditions are required to employ bear guards for the safety of the passengers. Polar bears are also facing extinction due to global warming.

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But critics online say the bear was only acting like a bear, and didn't deserve to die.

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". "When there's only 25,000 polar bears left on the planet, every one matters. This great predator has little respect for humans and unsafe situations can easily arise if people get too close", says the NPI, Norway's central governmental institution for scientific research in the Arctic.

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