Hapag-Lloyd Releases Statement Following Polar Bear Incident

Hapag-Lloyd Releases Statement Following Polar Bear Incident

Hapag-Lloyd Releases Statement Following Polar Bear Incident

A polar bear was killed after it attacked a bear guard leading tourists off a German cruise ship near the North Pole, officials said.

He had been assigned to protect tourists arriving Svalbard's northernmost island from the MS Bremen, operated by Hapag-Lloyd Cruises.

The animal was shot by a second guard but a spokesperson for the German cruise ship's operator said it was killed "in an act of self-defence". Etminan said the victim did not appear to suffer life-threatening injuries. He was flown out to Longyearbyen and is undergoing medical treatment.

In recent years, the area has become a popular destination for arctic tourism, especially during the summer months. The Svalbard archipelago is a known habitat of polar bears.

The condition for the injured person, who was transported back to Longyearbyen by helicopter, is reported to be stable.

"He was flown out, was responsive, and is now undergoing medical treatment", spokesperson Negar Etminan said.

If the guards had been successful in securing the land and there were no polar bears surrounding the site, tourists would have been permitted to disembark the ship to explore the land.

A polar bear was shot and killed after attacking a cruise ship guard on an Arctic archipelago in Norway on Saturday.

Bear watchers, as they're called on the cruise line's website, are armed and accompany nature guides when they take passengers on tours off the ship.

Svalbard is a remote, ice-covered wilderness which lies between Norway and the North Pole, where its 3,000 polar bears are thought to outnumber the human population.

Usually "as soon as an animal approaches, the landing stops immediately", Krause added.

Scientists believe human activity and climate change have contributed to an increase in polar bear attacks, which are most likely to occur when the animals are very hungry.

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

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

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