Polar Bear Mauls Solar Eclipse Tourist

Czech tourist was in his tent in Norway's Svalbard archipelago
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 19, 2015 10:19 AM CDT
Polar Bear Mauls Solar Eclipse Tourist
A local rep walks toward the dead body of a polar bear that attacked a tourist camp in Svalbard, Norway, Thursday, March 19, 2015.   (AP Photo/Arild Lyssand Svalbard Police, NTB scanpix)

A Czech tourist suffered minor injuries when a polar bear attacked the tent he was sleeping in on the remote Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, Norwegian authorities said today. Police spokesman Vidar Arnesen said the man, whom he didn't identify, was among a group of six that was on a combined ski and snow scooter trip on the remote islands more than 500 miles north of the Norwegian mainland. The group was camping north of the main town of Longyearbyen.

The man was injured on the face and on one arm, Arnesen said. No one else was injured in the attack. A person in the group shot at the bear with a handgun, prompting the animal to flee; it was eventually found and killed by authorities. Lodging on Svalbard has been sold out for years for tomorrow's total solar eclipse, and visitors are reminded often that polar bears roam. Authorities say that when moving outside of settlements, people must carry firearms. (Svalbard is also pretty much crime-free, and unemployment is illegal.)

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