German Cruise Line Faces Backlash Over Shooting Of Polar Bear (Disturbing Image)

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A German cruise line is facing outrage after one of its employees shot and killed a wild polar bear in Norway after the animal attacked another of its employees. Hapag-Lloyd Cruises said its ship was docked at Spitsbergen, the largest island on Norway’s Svalbard archipelago, on Saturday when the bear attacked a guard hired to go on shore before passengers to ensure there aren’t any polar bears in the area.Polar-bear-995851

The guard suffered non-life-threatening head injuries and was airlifted out, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises said in a statement on Facebook.
“The incident occurred when the four-person polar bear guard team, who are always on board for these expedition cruises as required by law, prepared for a shore leave,” the company said.
However, they failed to spot one bear, who attacked one of the guards, the cruise line said. The other guards shot the bear after trying unsuccessfully to evict the animal, the company said.

On Saturday, the MS Bremen cruise ship landed on the island and polar bear guards went ashore to survey the land. Then a polar bear unexpectedly attacked one of the guards, a spokesperson for the ship operator Hapag-Lloyd Cruises told The Associated Press, and “in an act of self defense” another guard shot the polar bear.

 

A helicopter brought the injured guard to the nearby town of Longyearbyen on Spitsbergen island. Hapag-Lloyd Cruises spokesperson Negar Etminan said he suffered head injuries but they were non-life threatening.

 

“He was flown out, was responsive, and is currently undergoing medical treatment,” Etminan said to The Associated Press.

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Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy: AP
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