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Polar bear killed after attacking cruise ship guard during tourist expedition in Norway

A polar bear was killed in an apparent 'act of self-defence.'. File

A polar bear was shot and killed after attacking a cruise ship guard on an archipelago in Norway.

The guard was injured during a trip to an island in Svalbard, which is located between mainland Norway and the North Pole.

The German cruise company Hapag Lloyd said a second guard shot the polar bear in an “act of self-defence.”

A polar bear, which Norwegian authorities said attacked and injured a cruise ship employee who was leading tourists off a cruise ship on an Arctic archipelago between mainland Norway and the North Pole, is seen after being shot dead by another employee, according to the cruise company, in Svalbard, July 28, 2018. Gustav Busch Arntsen/Governor of Svalbard/NTB Scanpix/via REUTERS

The injured man was taken by helicopter to hospital. He was not identified but officials said his wounds were non-life-threatening.

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“He was flown out, was responsive, and is currently undergoing medical treatment,” spokesperson Negar Etminan said.

Svalbard is mostly ice – and on the islands, polar bears are thought to outnumber people, the BBC reported.

The Associated Press reports that arctic tourism in the region has risen sharply in the last few years. A port schedule at Longyearbyen in the region showed that 18 cruise ships will be docking at the Arctic port in the next week.

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Father dies protecting kids from polar bear in Nunavut

Tourist expeditions are required to employ bear guards for the safety of the passengers.

But critics online say the bear was only acting like a bear, and didn’t deserve to die.

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“When eco-tourism goes wrong. Horribly, horribly wrong,” one Twitter user wrote.

“Polar Bear shot dead for being a wild animal in its own territory… outrageous!” another wrote.

*With files from the Associated Press

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