LONDON – A polar bear was shot dead on Saturday after he had attacked and injured a guard from a cruise ship that had stopped in an Arctic archipelago, the Norwegian authorities said.
The death of the bear in the hands of another employee of the cruise ship drew convictions in social media, some described him as "abominable" and others polled the polar bear for " acting like a wild animal ."
The guard who was attacked, he said, had suffered head injuries, but was now approachable and in "stable condition".
In a statement, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises said that the ship, the Bremen, landed on the Spitsbergen, an island in the Svalbard archipelago, between the Norwegian mainland and the North Pole
The company described the island as a part of Norway, as "a large geographical area, about one and a half times larger than Denmark, landings are possible only in a few places."
No tourists were disembarked, said Krause, but four armed guards disembarked from the ship to the shore to inspect and secure. The guards are armed for security, he added. "There are polar bears out there."
He explained that usually, when a wild bear is seen, guards "shoot" in the air to scare the animal away. On Saturday morning, however, the injured security guard had not seen the polar bear, he said.
According to the shipping company, "The incident occurred with the four-headed Polar Bear Watcher Team, which is always on board for expedition cruises as required by law, prepared for shore leave." One of the guards was unexpectedly attacked by a polar bear who was not discovered was and he was unable to react on his own. "
" It had to intervene on grounds of self-defense and to protect the lives of the attacked person, "added the statement.
The Joint Rescue Coordination for Northern Norway said on Saturday on Twitter, the animal had been shot .
The injured guard, who was not identified, was flown by helicopter to a nearby hospital in Hapag-Lloyd Cruises
Dated to 1891 and that he was not aware of any similar consequences of a previous expedition He was able to spend a few hours on site to comply with local laws and then moved on, he added
"Hapag-Lloyd Cruises is aware of its responsibility to travel in ecologically sensitive areas and respect all Nature and wildlife, "said the company statement.
Polar bears have become placards for climate change, with scientists identifying man-made global warming as the greatest threat to bear survival. In the Arctic regions, their numbers have declined – a development related to the loss of sea ice.
The shooting on the cruise expedition spurred the debate on Twitter, with some supporting the Guard to defend his colleague.
According to The Associated Press, Tourism in The Arctic Region is in high season and visitor numbers have increased in recent years. Eighteen cruise ships will dock at Longyearbyen, Svalbard's largest settlement, next week for a port plan, said A.P.