A polar bear was shot and killed after it attacked a guard guiding tourists off a cruise ship on Saturday, officials said.
The Northern Norway Rescue Coordination center tweeted that an attack occurred earlier this week as tourists from the MS Bremen cruise ship landed on the Svalbard archipelago, located between Norway and the North Pole, as a routine stop on the cruise. Two guards went onto the island and one was “attacked by a polar bear and injured on his head,” the German Hapag Lloyd Cruises company, which operates the ship, told the Associated Press.
The second guard shot and killed the bear “in an act of self-defense,” a spokesperson told the AP.
The man who was attacked did not suffer life-threatening injuries. He was flown out to Longyearbyen and is undergoing medical treatment.
Arctic tourism, currently in high season, has been on the rise in recent years. The Svalbard archipelago is a known habitat of polar bears.