Published: Mon, July 30, 2018
Sci-tech | By April Francis

Polar bear killed after attacking cruise line employee on Arctic archipelago

Polar bear killed after attacking cruise line employee on Arctic archipelago

The worker, a designated polar bear guard, suffered a head injury as he led tourists off the ship and was unresponsive when he was airlifted for medical treatment, Sky News reported.

All ships in the area are required to have guards to protect passengers from polar bears as they sightsee.

Meanwhile fellow Twitter user Gareth Stringer commented: "Polar bear shot for being a Polar Bear". "As the attempts of the other guards to evict the animal, unfortunately, were not successful, there had to be intervention for reasons of self-defense and to protect the life of the attacked person", says Hapag-Lloyd.

He was accompanying a tourist expedition from the MS Bremen of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises on Saturday (July 28). If the opportunity presents itself, polar bears will also consume carcasses, such as those of dead whales.

"It's incredibly tragic", said wildlife conservationist Jeff Corwin on CNN Sunday. In 2015, Czech Jakub Moravec was pulled out of the tent by a polar bear, but escaped with slight damage.

Online reaction to the episode has been highly critical.

"Let's get too close to a polar bear in its natural environment and then kill it if it gets too close".

The bear was shot dead by another employee, the cruise company said after the incident on Saturday.

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. "On the contrary", the statement explains, "polar bears are only observed from aboard ships, from a safe distance".

"Do remember that it is prohibited to follow, seek out or lure polar bears".

"And it should be remembered that our crew members are extremely competent in polar matters and bring years of experience to bear in this region".

Arctic tourism to the region has risen sharply in the past few years and is now in high season, as people travel to visit the remote terrain, glaciers, reindeer and polar bears.

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