Polar Bear Shot Dead for Attacking Cruise Ship Guard

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polar bear, shot, Svalbard
Cruise company Hapag-Lloyd said the bear was shot in “self-defense”. Credit: Reuters

A polar bear has been shot dead after it attacked a cruise ship guard on Norway’s Svalbard archipelago, within the Arctic Circle. The guard suffered non-life-threatening head injuries and is said to be in a stable condition.

He was assigned to protect tourists who had landed on Svalbard’s northernmost island from the MS Bremen, which is operated by Hapag-Lloyd Cruises. The German cruise company said a second guard shot the bear “in self-defense”.

polar bear, shot, Svalbard
Svalbard, where polar bears outnumber humans.

Svalbard is a wilderness of glaciers and ice caps that lies between Norway and the North Pole. An estimated 60% of it is covered with ice, and its 3,000 polar bears are said to outnumber the human population.

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.”

Moritz Krause, a spokesman for Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, the German operator of the cruise expedition, said on Sunday by phone that “we completely regret what happened” to the bear but that the cruise ship employee had acted in self-defense.

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One thought on “Polar Bear Shot Dead for Attacking Cruise Ship Guard

  1. This company charges people to take them into close proximity to these wild animals in THEIR environment.
    This company then calls the destruction of a species that is at risk for long term survival a self defense action?
    Their should be a substantial sanction or fine for this irresponsible for profit corporate action.
    The fine should be used to defend wildlife from corporate exploitation and destruction.

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