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Woman Injured By Polar Bear At Norway Campsite

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) A polar bear attacked a campsite Monday in Norways remote Arctic Svalbard Islands, injuring a French tourist, authorities said, adding that the wounds werent life-threatening. The bear was later killed.

The girl, who was simply not identified, was section of a tour band of 25 people camping at Sveasletta, in the central area of the Svalbard archipelago, which sits a lot more than 800 kilometers (500 miles) north of the Norwegian mainland. The campsite was located across a fjord from Longyearbyen, the primary settlement in the Arctic Svalbard archipelago.

Authorities taken care of immediately the news headlines of the attack, which came shortly before 8: 30 a.m., by flying there in a helicopter, chief superintendent Stein Olav Bredli.

The French woman suffered injuries to an arm. Shots were fired at the polar bear, that was scared from the region, he said. Further information on her injuries werent disclosed. She was flown by helicopter to a healthcare facility in Longyearbyen.

The primary newspaper on the Arctic archipelago, Svalbardposten, said the victim was a female in her 40s, and quoted local hospital official Solveig Jacobsen as saying that the girl was slightly injured.

Bredil later told Svalbardposten that the pet has been badly injured and carrying out a professional assessment it had been put to sleep. It had been unclear how it had been killed.

Svalbard is dotted with warnings about polar bears. Visitors who elect to sleep outdoors receive stern warnings from authorities that folks must carry firearms. At the very least five folks have been killed by polar bears because the 1970s. In 2011, a British teenager was killed and the final time a fatal polar bear mauling was reported on Svalbard was in 2020, whenever a 38-year-old Dutchman was killed.

Following that attack, there is a debate concerning whether people ought to be permitted to camp in tents but no ban has been decided.

Some residents in Svalbard, home to a lot more than 2,500 people, want a round-the-clock polar bear watch, while some advocate killing all bears that get near humans.

From 2009 to 2019, 14 polar bears were shot, Norwegian broadcaster NRK said. Around 20,000-25,000 polar bears reside in the Arctic.

In 2015, a polar bear dragged a Czech tourist out of his tent as he among others were camping north of Longyearbyen, clawing his back before being driven away by gunshots. The bear was later found and killed by authorities.

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