Cruise

Polar bear shot dead by expedition cruise guard

A cruise guard has shot dead a polar bear after it attacked another guard in a remote region between Norway and the North Pole.

The incident has caused widespread criticism for the cruise company involved, German Hapag Lloyd Cruises, with hundreds taking to social media to speak out against tourism in sensitive wildlife areas.

The attack occurred when tourists from the ship, MS Bremen, landed on the northernmost point of Svalbard.

According to the BBC, the guard who was attacked suffered from non-life-threatening injuries and is in a stable condition after being airlifted to hospital in Longyearbyen.

The cruise company said the second guard shot the bear in self-defence.

The BBC also reported that shrinking sea ice caused by warming Arctic waters has forced the bears to change their behaviour and spend more time on land to hunt for food over greater distances.

Cruise ships sailing in the region are required to have polar bear guards on board to protect tourists.

With arctic tourism more popular than ever, the Guardian reports a further 18 cruise ships would be docking in Longyearbyen in the next week.

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