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Woman injured in polar bear attack at remote Arctic campsite

Polar bear warning sight in Svalbard
(Image credit: Getty)

A polar bear has been euthanized after attacking a remote campsite in Norway's Svalbard Islands. As CBS News (opens in new tab) reports, a French tourist received injuries to her arm and was flown by helicopter to hospital in the town of Longyearbyen.

A group of 25 people were camping in Sveasletta, which is in the center of the Svalbard archipelago, and over 500 miles north of the Norwegian mainland. Emergency responders flew in early in the morning after receiving notification of the attack, arriving at around 8:30am.

Chief superintendent Stein Olav Bredli explained that shots were fired at the bear, which retreated. It was later found seriously injured, and put down following a professional assessment.

Polar bear warning signs are scattered throughout Svalbard to make visitors aware of the risks. Anyone camping is required to keep a firearm for self-defence, but the animals have been a protected species since 1973.

In 2015, a visitor from the Czech Republic was pulled from his tent by a polar bear, which clawed the man's back before being driven back by gunshots. According to ABC News (opens in new tab), some residents of Svalbard want a 24-hours polar bear watch, while other believe any bear that attacks a human should be euthanized.

Cat Ellis
Editor

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 13 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better).