Polar bear killed after attack on Arctic cruise ship guard
31 July, 2018, 22:43 | Author: Orlando Hughes
The MS Bremen, a cruise ship that is part of the Hapag-Lloyd fleet, was in port in the northernmost Svalbard island when a cruise ship worker was attacked by a bear.
The injured man was taken by helicopter to hospital.
The polar bear was shot dead by another employee, the cruise company said on Saturday. The first guard apparently did not see the bear, which then attacked him and injured him "on his head".
In this case, one of the guards was attacked unexpectedly by a polar bear that had not been spotted. 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. "We are extremely sorry that this incident has happened".
A cruise line is experiencing intense scrutiny and backlash after their visit to the Arctic Circle resulted in the tragic death of a polar bear. In Arctic regions, their numbers have declined - a development linked to the loss of sea ice. The scientific study, as reported, suggested polar bears lack a viable food alternative. Live web-cam from the ship at 80'North of Svalbard is online, but no information about the injured person or the shooting of the polar bear was published by Saturday evening.
"Tourism. again proving itself to be harmful to wildlife", tweeted biologist Adam Hart.
The polar bear was then shot dead "in an act of self-defence" by the second guard, spokeswoman Negar Etminan said.
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.
"Do remember that it is prohibited to follow, seek out or lure polar bears".
"They had no right to get themselves into a situation where they needed to defend themselves", said one Twitter user.
Rising temperature have forced polar bears out of their natural icy habitats and closer to human settlements, reducing their fear of humans. "If there is drift ice around the islands it is more likely that there will be polar bears on the islands".
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