Polar bear killed after attack on Arctic cruise ship guard

A polar bear has attacked and injured a man leading tourists off a cruise ship on an archipelago between mainland Norway and the North Pole, Norwegian authorities say.

The injured person was immediately provided with medical care and flown to a hospital with a rescue helicopter.

The polar bear was then shot dead "in an act of self-defense" by the second guard, spokeswoman Negar Etminan said.

The attacked man was a crew member of the "MS Bremen", operated by Germany's Hapag-Lloyd Cruises.

Rising temperature have forced polar bears out of their natural icy habitats and closer to human settlements, reducing their fear of humans.

The guard suffered non-life-threatening head injuries and was airlifted out, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises said in a statement on Facebook.

Arctic tourism, now in high season, has been on the rise in recent years.

Spokeswoman Negar Etminan said: 'He was flown out, was responsive, and is now undergoing medical treatment'.

According to the cruise company, all ships travelling in the northern region are required to employ polar bear guards to protect passengers on sightseeing tours.

A polar bear has been shot dead after injuring a guard working for cruise ship tourists visiting an Arctic archipelago in Norway.

A German cruise line is facing outrage after one of its employees shot and killed a wild polar bear in Norway after the animal attacked one of its employees. "When there's only 25,000 polar bears left on the planet, every one matters. This great predator has little respect for humans and unsafe situations can easily arise if people get too close", says the NPI, Norway's central governmental institution for scientific research in the Arctic. "They then set up a land station and check the area again to make sure that there are no polar bears in sight", the statement continues.

Last month, a 31-year-old Canadian man was killed while protecting his children from a polar bear in a popular Canadian fishing and hunting spot.

Vanessa Coleman