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Polar bear euthanized after injuring French tourist in Norway’s remote Svalbard Islands

 UPI News logo: MainLogo UPI News 8/8/2022 Adam Schrader

Aug. 8 (UPI) -- A polar bear was euthanized in Norway on Monday after officials said it injured a French woman who was camping in the country's remote Svalbard Islands.

The woman was part of a tour group of 25 people camping on the north side of the fjord Isfjorden when the polar bear entered her tent, Police Chief Superintendent Stein Olav Bredli told Norwegian outlets Svalbard Posten and NRK.

The woman, who is in her 40s but was not immediately identified, received non-life-threatening injuries to her arm and was flown to a hospital.

The polar bear was chased out of the area when shots were fired, Bredli said. Wildlife experts and police later located the bear and found that it was badly injured and had to be euthanized, he added.

A polar bear wanders on sea ice in the Arctic. Scientists say that polar bears don't usually attack humans unless they are threatened or, sometimes, hungry. File Photo by Norwegian Polar Institute/NASA/UPI © Provided by UPI News A polar bear wanders on sea ice in the Arctic. Scientists say that polar bears don't usually attack humans unless they are threatened or, sometimes, hungry. File Photo by Norwegian Polar Institute/NASA/UPI

The bear's remains were then taken to the town of Longyearbyen for examination.

Last week, a tent camp was evacuated in Ekmanfjorden after it was visited by a polar bear that was not frightened off by gunshots. Officials said it had gotten into the group's food tent.

Bredli told the Svalbard Posten that recent encounters with polar bears serve as an important reminder that the animals are dangerous.

Polar bear attacks have previously been reported in the arctic archipelago, which lies halfway between Norway and the North Pole.

One man was slightly injured after he was attacked in March 2021 -- and a Dutch tourist died in 2020 after he was attacked while sleeping in a tent at a campsite outside Longyearbyen.

 

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