Polar Bear in Norway Attack Was Starving

Group's camp was surrounded by faulty tripwire
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Aug 8, 2011 2:43 AM CDT
Rescuers carry one of the four youths injured in a polar bear attack to a waiting helicopter on Spitsbergen.   (AP Photo/ Arild Lyssand / District governor of Spitsbergens office / Scanpix Norway)
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(Newser) – The mauling victims of a starving polar bear have been airlifted from Norway to Britain for treatment. The bear killed a teenager on a Norway science trip before a team leader managed to kill the animal with a gun that jammed four times. The adult leader, a co-worker, and two other teenagers are all being treated for significant wounds from the marauding animal, which tore through their tent on the Von Postbreen glacier in Svalbard, according to the Guardian. One of the surviving teens punched the bear on the nose even as the animal held his head in his jaws, reports the Mirror.

The tents were surrounded by a malfunctioning tripwire that was supposed to trigger a warning shot if a polar bear approached. The group was studying the effects of climate change on the glacier in a trip organized by the British Schools Exploring Society. An autopsy revealed the male bear was seriously underweight and hadn't eaten for some time. The schools society has abandoned the trip and sent all 80 participants home. "We believe ending the expedition is appropriate," said a spokesman.

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