Tourist injured by polar bear in Svalbard – NRK Troms and Finnmark

– The mayor received a message just before 08.30 this morning about a polar bear attack in a tent camp, and moved out with a helicopter shortly afterwards, states mayor superintendent Stein Olav Bredli in a press release.

The woman, who is in her 40s, is not injured in a life-threatening manner. She is said to have suffered injuries to an arm, and was taken to Longyearbyen hospital by helicopter.

The University Hospital in Northern Norway confirms to NRK that the woman is slightly injured.

– I have just received confirmation that she will stay at the hospital in Longyearbyen until tomorrow, says communications advisor Solveig Jacobsen.

The injured person belongs to a tour group of 25 people, who were camping in Sveasletta on the north side of Isfjorden.

– Strongly affected by the incident

The polar bear was scared away from the area by shots and was later located by the authorities. The mayor with both the police and species managers was finally able to examine the polar bear.

– The polar bear was so badly injured that it had to be killed, and it has been brought to Longyearbyen for further examination.

The crisis team in Longyearbyen local government has been notified and the Governor is in dialogue with the tour operator for follow-up of the tour group.

– They are probably strongly affected by the incident and will be followed up by the crisis team.

The police are still investigating what happened, and will continue with questioning in the case.

Six killed since 1971

It is not the first time a tourist has been attacked by polar bears on the archipelago.

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At the latest in March 2021, a man was slightly injured after being attacked.

The year before, a Dutch tourist was attacked while sleeping in his tent at a campsite outside Longyearbyen.

The man was confirmed dead by a doctor a short time later.

In the aftermath of the incident, calls were made on social media for a tent ban on Svalbard.

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