Reposted by Polar Bear Science
Posted on March 2, 2021
A man was attacked by a small male polar bear this morning on the east coast of Svalbard, Norway, where sea ice is abundant. His companion shot the bear and the victim escaped with minor head injuries. Most bears are very hungry at this time of year as the seal pup season has not yet started.
Young bears are extremely dangerous and are most likely to attack people (Crockford 2019; Wilder et al. 2017): A three-year-old man fatally attacked a camper at the gates of Longyearbyen, Svalbard, in August 2020 (Crockford 2021).
UPDATE March 3, 2021: The results of an autopsy of the polar bear killed yesterday showed that it was a 6-year-old male who weighed only 231 kg. This is less than usual for an adult bear later in the season, but likely typical of a relatively young bear at the end of winter, before pups are born. See quote from a Norwegian polar bear specialist below [my bold]::
Jon Aars, an institute researcher who studied bears in Spitsbergen for many years, told Spitsbergen The vast majority of bears between the ages of six and 15 will weigh between 350 and 450 kilograms in April. when the spring hunting season usually peaks.
“It may have been aggressive because it was thin,” he said. “It is likely. The thinner they are, the more likely they are to be dangerous. He is at an age where he is not often seen as a problem bear – mostly among the younger or the very old who have problems. “
According to a story in IcePeople (March 2, 2021) my courage is:
A man working on a film project was injured by a polar bear on Tuesday morning while a staff member was on a scouting trip to Mohnbukta in Eastern Spitsbergen, according to the governor of Spitsbergen.
“The polar bear was shot,” said an announcement on the governor’s website. “The governor was informed of the incident at 9:25 am today. The man who was attacked by the polar bear is slightly injured. He is now being treated at Longyearbyen Hospital. “
The man was one of two Polar X employees owned by local film producer Jason Roberts, and they measured ice thickness in the area about 70 kilometers east of Longyearbyen when they were attacked from behind, Svalbardposten reported.
“He’s fine, he’s not seriously injured,” Roberts told the newspaper, adding that it was the first time in his 30 years that a polar bear had attacked an employee. He said both employees were experienced in the area, but their snowmobiles were running so they may not have heard the bear approach.
The attacked man suffered minor head injuries. His colleague fatally shot the bear.
The injured man was taken to Longyearbyen Hospital around 11 a.m. Governors’ office officials returned to the scene of the attack Tuesday afternoon as part of their routine investigation into a polar bear encounter that resulted in human or bear injury or death. That 250 kilograms [about 550 lbs] The male bear is due to have an autopsy tonight.
The east coast of Svalbard is one of the most popular winter / spring travel destinations because, in contrast to the west coast, where there has been hardly any ice recently, numerous bears can usually be seen on the sea ice in the region. Travelers to the area who shared their experiences on social media in the past few weeks have reported seeing numerous titles, if not all of them bears.
Read the whole story here.
Ice conditions around Svalbard on March 2nd, 2021:
Crockford, SJ 2019. The polar bear disaster that never happened. Global Warming Policy Foundation, London. Available in paperback and e-book formats.
Crockford, SJ 2021. Polar Bear Condition Report 2020. Global Warming Policy Foundation Report 48, London. pdf here.
Wilder, JM, Vongraven, D., Atwood, T., Hansen, B., Jessen, A., Kochnev, A., York, G., Vallender, R., Hedman, D. and Gibbons, M. 2017. Polar Bear Attacks on Humans: Effects of a Changing Climate. Wildlife Society Bulletin, in press. DOI: 10.1002 / wsb.783 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/wsb.783/full