Anorak News | Polar Bear Kills British Teenager In Norway: BBC Blames Climate Change (Photos)

Polar Bear Kills British Teenager In Norway: BBC Blames Climate Change (Photos)

by | 5th, August 2011

A POLAR bear in Norway has attacked and hurt Patricks Flinders, Michael Reid, Andrew Ruck and Scott Smith. A 17-year-old has been mauled to death. They were all on tour with the British Schools Exploring Society. They were close to the Von Postbreen glacier on the Norwegian island of Svalbard.

The BBC says:

If needs must, they will, like many bears, adapt their behaviour; polar bears have been seen feasting on goose eggs, while one bear has been recorded undertaking an epic nine-day swim to reach new feeding grounds. As climate change reduces ice cover, there are concerns that more polar bears will become displaced and will move further inland to seek food, bringing them into contact with more people.

So. We should blame climate change?

The Sun informs us, without grim irony:

The BSES sends youths to Svalbard to investigate evidence of climate change.

Terry Flinders, Patrick’s father tells media:

“According to the doctor and the other people Patrick was trying to fend off the polar bear by hitting it on the nose – why, I don’t know, but he did and… the polar bear attacked him with his right paw across his face and his head and his arm.”

The Sun says the trip cost £2,900 trip. The party would “venture into the untouched beauty and wilderness of Svalbard“.


Polar bears are the biggest threat to humans on Svalbard and around 500 inhabit the main islands at any one time.

A bigger threat than the cold? The Mail reports:

Since 1971, four people have been injured and four killed by polar bears in Svalbard, according to researcher Margaret Nilsdatter Skaktavl Keyser. Since 1993 there have been on average three bears shot each year after close encounters with humans.

Who is more dangerous to whom?

Kjersti Norås, tourism coordinator in the Svalbard tourism, said: “Von Post glacier is a common place for tourists to go to. You can also drive there on snowmobile in the winter.” She said locals are generally fond of the bears, which rarely attack humans. She said: “As long as it has food it is not particularly aggressive. Basically it will not eat people because we are too skinny.”

Over the newswires we learn the views of locals:

Sandra Swresser, a restaurant manager at Kroa bar in Svalbard, said: “It’s very sad. We have had attacks before. It happened a year ago when a Norwegian man was attacked. As it was early in the morning I can only suppose the bear attacked them because it was looking for food.”

Another local, Liv Rose Flygel, 55, said: “It’s not been the first time. Last summer a man was attacked by a polar bear and there have also been attacks on a man from Austria and a girl. Only the man in the attack last summer survived. He was taken in the mouth of the bear and his friend ran after it and shot it.

“The problem is, when the ice goes, the bears lose their way and cannot catch food. People don’t really know how dangerous they are. One came down to the sea recently and people were running down to take pictures.”

The bear is dead. Shot. The Daily Mail begins to speculate:

The starving animal attacked the group of 13 young explorers at 7.30am today as they were sleeping on the Norwegian island of Svalbard on a dream wildlife trip.

Starving? So. We should feel sorry for the bear and blame ourselves for the death of a teenager on his holidays..?


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Chairman of BSES (British Schools Exploring Society) Edward Watson reads out a statement regarding the death of a British teenager who was killed by a polar bear in Norway, at the BSES offices in Kensington, London.

Posted: 5th, August 2011 | In: Key Posts Comments (3) | TrackBack | Permalink