BERLIN – Norwegian authorities said a polar bear attacked and injured a polar bear keeper on Saturday leading tourists from a cruise ship on an Arctic archipelago. The polar bear was shot dead by another employee, the cruise company said.
The coordination office for the rescue of northern Norway tweeted, the attack occurred when the tourists from the cruise ship of the MS Bremen landed on the northernmost island of the Svalbard archipelago. a region between the Norwegian mainland and the North Pole, which is known for its remote terrain, glaciers, reindeer and polar bears.
The German company Hapag Lloyd Cruises, which operates the MS Bremen, told the Associated Press that two polar bear guards from their ship went to the island and one of them "was attacked by a polar bear and injured on the head."
The polar bear was then shot "in an act of self-defense" by the second guard, spokeswoman Negar Ettman said:
The injured man was taken by helicopter to the town of Longyearbyen on the island of Spitsbergen. He was not identified and no further information was given about him.
"He was flown out, responded, and is currently undergoing medical treatment," Etminan said, adding that the victim was not in a life-threatening condition. 1
Norsk Telegrambyra AS / REUTERS
She said that all cruise ships traveling in the northern region are required to have polar bear guards on board.
Arctic tourism in the region has risen sharply in recent years and is now in high season. A Longyearbyen harbor plan showed that 18 cruise ships will dock at the Arctic harbor next week.
© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, transmitted, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.