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Polar bear shot dead by cruise ship guard
Shooting a polar bear is always a very sad event, even if it had attacked a human first. No doubt the decision was not taken lightly by the second guard and only as a last resort to save his colleague. But the real question here is something much more important: should humans keep going on tourist visits to such places in very large numbers?


From that article: "The Associated Press reports that 18 cruise ships are set to dock this week in Longyearbyen, Svalbard's largest settlement." That's two and a half ships visiting each day!
What is happening is....humans are continually visiting Polar Bears' habitats in large numbers, and are not respectful enough. They mustn't be, for such a terrible thing to happen. People often underestimate wildlife, or have some areas where they lack understanding.

I am sorry about the bad injuries this man must have had, and it's good to hear his condition is stable now.
But I agree, LPC. Maybe the cruise company ought to re-think the nature of those visits...? Surely there are ways the bears can be observed without putting lives in danger?

My opinion? It's not the Bears' fault.
The sight of that dead bear is enough to make you cry. clearly the humans were in the bear's territory so the bear was just acting the way you would expect him to act.
I am sorry the guard was hurt. I can understand why the other guard shot the bear.

What I can't understand is the fact that the guards were where the bear could get at them. They were clearly down on the ground with the bear. That is where there is a problem. There are polar bear tours in Fort Churchill Manitoba. People ride out to see the bears in Tundra Buggies. They are special bear proof observation vehicles.

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As you can see they come in different sizes and designs. They allow for safe observation of the bears. Cruise ships make a lot of money from  these cruises that let people see polar bears. They could make an investment in safety for the bears and the people.

I think ecotourism is here to stay and I think it does help endangered species in the long run. It needs to be better regulated and there need to be strict safety requirements. Having a guy along who can kill the bear is totally the wrong approach. 
It is the opposite of what needs to be done.

They could also design observation platforms or some kind of structure that passengers could use to safely observe the bears.

There is no doubt that people will want to see polar bears. We can do this safely. No more bears should die because of a cruise ship.
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