Polar bear shot dead after wounding cruise ship worker

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Polar bear shot dead after wounding cruise ship worker

All cruise ships sailing in the region were obliged to have polar bear guards aboard, Etminan said.

Hapag-Llloyd's website advertises a wide range of "Artic adventures", explaining: "It goes without saying that our expedition ships and crew are highly experienced and trained to meet the special demands presented by an Arctic expedition".

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises said all ships in the area are required to employ guards to protect passengers from polar bears on tours.

"Polar Bear shot dead for being a wild animal in its own territory... outrageous!" another wrote.

An estimated 60% of it is covered with ice, and its 3,000 polar bears are said to outnumber the human population. But many outraged members of the public are saying that the cruise line should never have created the situation which resulted in the animal's death in the first place. "On the contrary", the statement explains, "polar bears are only observed from aboard ships, from a safe distance".

According to Hapag-Llyod Cruises, the incident occurred when the four-person polar bear guard team was preparing for a shore leave. The ship had landed on the northernmost island of the Svalbard archipelago, an area known for its remote terrain, glaciers, reindeer and polar bears. "One of the guards was unexpectedly attacked by a polar bear that had not been spotted and he was unable to react himself". "As the attempts of the other guards to evict the animal, unfortunately, were not successful, there had to be intervention for reasons of self-defense and to protect the life of the attacked person", says Hapag-Lloyd.

The injured employee was taken by helicopter to the town of Longyearbyen with injuries that are not life-threatening.

MS Bremen is a 111-meter-long cruise ship that can take up to 155 passengers.

Norwegian authorities confirmed the bear was shot and killed on Saturday. "We are extremely sorry that this incident has happened".

Reaction to the death of this polar bear has been swift.

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