Arctic cruise ship guard shoots polar bear dead for injuring colleague

Hugh Fox
July 31, 2018

The uproar comes after the German cruise line Hapag-Lloyd Cruises sent a polar bear guard team on shore to ensure there were no bears in the area before passengers from the MS Bremen went on land.

Hapag-Lloyd assured the landing was not for polar bear observation as guests are only allowed to view the wild animals on board and from a safe distance.

Earlier this month, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police confirmed that a 31-year-old man called Aaron Gibbons had been killed in a tragic polar bear attack while protecting his children in the Canadian territory of Nunavut.

The guard sustained head injuries and was immediately airlifted to a nearby hospital where he remains in a responsive and stable condition.

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A polar bear was killed after attacking a polar bear guard who was leading tourists off a cruise ship on the Svalbard archipelago archipelago between mainland Norway and the North Pole on Saturday.

A dead polar bear lays at the beach at Sjuøyane north of Spitzbergen, Norway, on July 28, 2018. The polar bear was shot dead by another employee, the cruise company said.

The polar bear was shot dead by another employee, the cruise company said.

In this case, one of the guards was attacked unexpectedly by a polar bear that had not been spotted.

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This was not the first time a polar bear attack took place in Norway.

"There had to be intervention for reasons of self-defense and to protect the life of the attacked person", the statement added. "We are extremely sorry that this incident has happened". In 2015, Czech Jakub Moravec was pulled out of the tent by a polar bear, but escaped with slight damage. In 2008 polar bears were listed for protection under the Endangered Species Act because of forecasted impacts of climate change.

Given that the current "population status" of polar bears is listed as "vulnerable" due to their decreasing number, it is perhaps not surprising that the company has come under intense fire for how the incident played out. "Horribly, horribly wrong", one Twitter user wrote.

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