Polar Bear Killed After Attacking Cruise Ship Worker Leading Tour Near North Pole

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 unidentified worker is part of the ship’s “Bear Watch Team” — an armed team trained to accompany expedition leaders as they guide passengers on excursions. Such teams are a requirement for all cruise ships that visit the area.

Details of the attack remain unclear, but spokeswoman Negar Etminan said that the Bear Watcher “was attacked by a polar bear and injured on his head,” and that another Bear Watch Team member shot and killed the bear “in an act of self-defence.” The worker was airlifted to a nearby hospital, but the injuries were not life threatening and he was in stable condition shortly after the attack.

The area of the incident is an archipelago between Norway and the North Pole. It is home to thousands of polar bears and is even known as “The Realm of the Polar Bear.” Sustainability is the priority in Svalbard and nearly two thirds of the islands are protected areas, presumably because of climate change. Polar bears are also facing extinction due to global warming. 

Despite the fact that the polar bear injured the guard, people are furious a threatened species was killed.

It will be wrong to shoot the polar bear when there are tourists who take their place on the polar bear area. The polar bear would probably defend his area, it would all do.

Wrong, wrong to shoot a polar bear when curious tourists are entering on his area. Think before so we don’t have to read about similar events again.

While cruise ship excursions are a fun and easy way to experience an unknown place, cruise lines should prioritize local wildlife as well as safety for their passengers.

H/T: HuffPost, Canoe