Woman injured by polar bear in Norway; Polar bear killed

NORWAY — A woman was injured after she was attacked by a polar bear Monday at a campsite in Norway.

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A polar bear attacked a woman at a campsite near Norway’s remote Arctic Svalbard Islands Monday around 8:30 a.m., according to The Associated Press. The woman who was injured is expected to make a full recovery.

The woman is a French tourist but authorities have not identified her. She was camping with a group of 25 people, according to the AP.

The woman was injured in her arm and shots were fired at the polar bear, according to the AP. The bear then ran away. The main newspaper on the Arctic archipelago, Svalbardposten, according to the AP, said that the bear was badly hurt and put to sleep. No further details have been released.

“A reminder that there are polar bears outside, and it is important that tour operators and others are aware of that danger,” says master officer Stein Olav Bredli told the Svalbardposten.

According to the AP, visitors who choose to sleep outside when visiting the area are given warnings from the authorities in Norway to have a firearm with them.

At least five people have been killed by polar bears since the 1970s. One killing happened in 2011 when a British teenager was killed, according to the AP. Another time was in 2020, when a 38-year-old Dutchman was killed.

More than 2,500 residents of Svalbard — where the latest attack happened — want a polar bear watch round the clock and others are advocating to kill bears that get too close to humans, according to the AP. About 20,000 to 25,000 polar bears live in the Arctic.