German shipping and cruise company Hapag Lloyd is facing outrage after reportedly killing a polar bear on a shore excursion in northern Norway. The incident sparked a massive outrage on social media.
When two guards who work for the German cruise line went ashore in advance of passengers to sweep the area for polar bears, one of the guards didn’t notice a polar bear and was attacked on his head. In order to save his life, he shot the polar bear dead. He was flown by helicopter to the hospital in the town of Longyearbyen, on Spitsbergen island. He was expected to survive as he didn’t suffer any life-threatening injuries.
The incident took place in Svalbard, located between Norway and the North Pole above the Arctic Circle where all cruise ships are obliged to employ bear guards to protect passengers on shore excursion tours. The location is famous for the isolated area with massive glaciers which serves as an excellent natural habitat for reindeers, polar bears and other arctic animals.
The cruise line claims that he killed the polar bear in an act of self-defence. The massive outrage on social media lashed out at the cruise line for exploiting the natural habitat of polar bears. British actor/satirist Ricky Gervais tweeted, “Let’s get too close to a polar bear in its natural environment and then kill it if it gets too close. Morons.”
Polar bear killed for acting like a wild animal: https://t.co/LEzZuIQ4vY
— Extinction Symbol (@extinctsymbol) July 28, 2018
Although the cruise guide didn’t have any choice but to kill the polar bear to save his life, the cruise company was to be blamed and sued for getting too close to the natural habitats of endangered animals, said critics on social media.