A polar bear attacked a woman in Norway in the remote Arctic Svalbard islands. The polar bear injured the French tourist, leaving her with several wounds.

The unnamed woman was part of a 25-group camping trip in the Svalbard region. The group was camping at Sveasletta, in the central part of the Svalbard archipelago, which is roughly 800 kilometers (500 miles) north of the Norwegian mainland. 

Authorities confirmed that the wounds were not life-threatening. Chief superintendent Stein Olav Bredli said that officials “badly injured” the bear and following “a professional assessment” officials put it to sleep.

“The French woman suffered injuries to an arm. Shots were fired at the polar bear, which was scared away from the area,” he said. He did not disclose further details about the injuries. A helicopter swiftly flew her to the hospital in Longyearbyen.

Horror as polar bear attacks woman

The campsite where the attack happened is located across from Longyearbyen, the main settlement in the archipelago.

Svalbard famously has substantial polar bear presence. Notably, polar bears have killed many humans in the region since the 1970’s. Many question whether officials should allow travelers to camp in the region given the number of attacks. Authorities warn residents who choose to sleep in the region of the dangers.

Reportedly, in 2011, a polar bear fatally killed a British teenager. The last time a fatal Svalbard polar bear mauling happened was in 2020 where the bear killed a 38-year-old Dutchman.

Some residents advocate for round-the-clock surveillance of the animals. Others suggest that any polar bear that gets close to a human should be shot and killed. Currently, there are no changes to the laws with visitors camping in the Norwegian region.

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