• Polar bear, Norway
    Polar bear, Norway

A man was killed in his tent after a polar bear came scavenging near Norwegian town of Longyearbyen, report local officials.

The man was identified as the camp's manager, 38-year-old Johan Jacobus Kootte, from Holland.

Shortly before dawn last Friday the polar bear broke into the man's tent, while he was asleep. The polar bear was shot and fended off by other campers, but they could not save the manager. Kootte was pronounced dead on arrival at the nearby hospital.

The bear which was shot in the attack was later found dead near the local airstrip.

Local newspaper the Svalbard Posten said that there were six other campers on site at the time, three Germans, a Norwegian, a Finn and an Italian. The camp's owner Michelle van Dijk told Dutch broadcaster NOS that Kootte had been in his second season as manager and was aware of the danger posed by bears.

The installation of an electric fence to fend off bears had been postponed by the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Posten. This defence was finally erected in July, but it is not clear how the bear broke into the site on Friday.

Hungry bears have become increasingly common in the area, as the polar hunting grounds continue to shrink due around melting ice sheets.

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