In a tragic incident reminiscent of the importance of being careful in wildlife areas, a polar bear caught a man sleeping in his tent with a “treacherous” attack and killed him on a Norwegian island near the North Pole.
The 38-year-old Dutchman, Johan Jacobs Coty, was lying in his tent in a camping area near a town on Svalbard’s island, about 1,300 kilometres from the North Pole.
But on Friday morning, a polar bear attacked him severely, seriously wounding him, and died shortly after, according to the local governor’s office.
The statement said that the man, a worker on the island, was “snatched from his tent” while he was sleeping, indicating the force of the attack, as the bear “dragged him and pushed him to death,” at about four in the morning.
After that, the dead animal was found dead, as locals shot it in the attack’s wake.
Bloodstains were seen near the campsite, while six other people were sleeping, but they were unharmed, according to local reports.
In Svalbard, also known as “Spitsburg,” residents are advised to carry a weapon outside urban areas for fear of attack from stray animals.
According to a 2015 census, the archipelago that includes the island has been home to nearly 1,000 polar bears of protected species since 1973.
So far, five fatal attacks have been recorded on the island’s residents since 1971, the last of which was in 2011 when a British student was killed and four wounded by a bear attack on a group of 14 people camping as part of a school trip.