Polar bear killed after attacking cruise ship employee
WARNING: DISTRESSING CONTENT – A polar bear has been shot dead after it attacked a cruise ship employee guiding tourists off a vessel in Norway.
Norwegian authorities said the animal advanced on the group as they disembarked the cruise ship on an Arctic archipelago between mainland Norway and the North Pole.
The polar bear was shot dead by another employee as it attacked their colleague.
The Joint Rescue Coordination for Northern Norway tweeted on Saturday the incident occurred when the tourists landed on the most northern island of Svalbard.
It said the man was taken by helicopter to the town of Longyearbyen on Spitsbergen island and that he was in a stable condition after suffering head injuries.
The attacked man was a crew member of the “MS Bremen,” operated by Germany’s Hapag-Lloyd Cruises.
“He was flown out, was responsive, and is currently undergoing medical treatment,” spokeswoman Negar Etminan said of their employee, adding that the victim was not in a life-threatening condition.
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Etminan said the man was a “polar bear guard” traveling aboard the “MS Bremen” because all cruise ships traveling in the northern region are obliged to have polar bear guards on board.
Arctic tourism to the region has risen sharply in the last few years and is now in high season.
A Longyearbyen port schedule showed 18 cruise ships will dock at the port in the next week.