Polar bear shot dead after attacking cruise line guard

The polar bear was shot dead

Image The polar bear was shot dead following the attack

A polar bear that attacked a cruise ship worker and bit him in the head has been shot dead on an island in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard.

Svalbard is mostly ice - and on the islands, polar bears are thought to outnumber people, the BBC reported.

The incident occurred when tourists left the cruise ship MS Bremen in a dinghy before they landed on Parry Island, which is the part of Svalbard.

The injured man was taken by helicopter to hospital. His identity was not released.

This Saturday on a trip ashore in Spitsbergen during a BREMEN cruise an accident occured: a polar bear guard - an expert employed by the cruise line - was attacked on land by a polar bear.

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

The long-running cruise company said they had travelled to the destination for many years and were "very aware of its responsibility when travelling in environmentally-sensitive areas and respects all nature and wildlife". The other guards shot the bear after trying unsuccessfully to evict the animal, the company said.

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According to the schedule at Longyearbyen port near the scene, 18 cruise ships will be docking there this week, The Associated Press reported.

Tourist expeditions are required to employ bear guards for the safety of the passengers.

Usually "as soon as an animal approaches, the landing stops immediately", Krause added.

"British comedian Ricky Gervais tweeted: "'Let's get too close to a polar bear in its natural environment and then kill it if it gets too close.' Morons".

In 1995, Nina Jeanette Olaussen, 22, from Oslo was attacked and killed by polar bear on Platafjellet, just west of Longyearbyen, and just five months later Helmer Kristian Kristensen from Tromso was exposed to the same fate, Aftenposten wrote.

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

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