Isfjorden, Svalbard. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

Polar bear shot dead after attacking tourist

The victim, a French tourist, was hospitalised after attacked by a polar bear at Svalbard Monday morning.
August 08, 2022


“The Governor was alarmed just before 08.30 this morning, and went to the scene with helicopter,” informs Stein Olav Bredli, Chief Superintendent with the Governor’s office.

The woman, who was wounded in the arm by the attacking polar bear, was one of 25 people staying at a tent camp in Nordfjorden on the northern shores of Isfjorden. She is currently at the hospital in Longyearbyen and is not seriously wounded. 

Bredli said shots were launched and the polar bear was severely wounded. The police officers arriving to the area later decided to kill the bear.


Officers with the Governor of Svalbard (Sysselmannen) always carries a shotgun, not against criminals, but for polar bear protection. Photo: Thomas Nilsen


Two years ago, a Dutch man was killed as the bear attacked him while sleeping in the tent at the campsite next to Longyearbyen airport.

In 2018, a cruise ship guide was wounded, but survived, a polar bear attack at Sjuøyene north of Nordaustlandet on Svalbard. The bear was shot dead by fellow crew members.


In 2011, a 17-years old British student was killed by a polar bear at a camp-site near the Von Post glacier, about 40 km from Longyearbyen.

In the period from 1971 to 1995, four other people were killed by polar bears at Svalbard. Two of the fatal attacks happened in 1995.


Polar bear is the King of the Arctic. Photo: Thomas Nilsen




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