A polar bear was shot dead after attacking a cruise ship on the Norwegian Spitsbergen archipelago inside the Arctic Circle.
The guard did not suffer life-threatening head injuries and should be in a stable condition.
He was commissioned to protect tourists who had landed on the northernmost island of Svalbard from MS Bremen, which was operated by Hapag-Lloyd Kreuzfahrten.
The German shipping company said a second guard shot the bear "in self-defense"
The injured man was taken to the hospital in the town of Longyearbyen on the island of Spitsbergen.
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Spitsbergen is a wilderness of glaciers and ice caps in the Arctic Circle, between Norway and the North Pole.
An estimated 60% of it is covered in ice, and the 3,000 polar bear population is said to exceed the number of people.
All Ships in The area is required to use bear guards to protect ct passengers on sightseeing tours.
"There are very strict rules here, as the islands are visited by many polar bears in the summer, so we all have to be vigilant when we are ashore," wrote a guide in a post on Hapag-Lloyd's website [1
"This story is despicable," wrote Tweeter @ nicell70
"To kill a dangerous wild animal in its natural habitat invaded by ravenous, exploitative humans."
The behavior of the bears has been that Arctic warming means that they spend more time on land due to the shrinking sea ice and are forced to hunt for greater distances.
The Associated Press reports that 18 cruise ships will land at Longyearbyen, Svalbard's largest settlement, this week.