No doubt, everyone has heard the recent polar bear attack on Svalbard Island, Norway. A group of English teenagers, participating in a "high end adventure camp" on Svalbard (human population: 2500, polar bear population: 3000), were set upon by a polar bear in an attack that left one of the teenagers dead and four other members of the group injured. The polar bear was shot and killed.
Tragic. But let me ask the obvious question: Who in their right mind goes camping on an island that is home to 3000 polar bears? In a previous post, I pointed out how polar bears have been made into the poster children of global warming. Mostly as a result of this particular notoriety, they are typically portrayed as the big, ol' lovable huggie bear in the egregiously awful Nissan Leaf commercial or the cutesy cartoon bears in Coca-Cola commercials. Perhaps, all of this polar bear love has led people to forget that polar bears are the largest land predator on the planet and that a full grown polar bear is pretty much the honey badger of the North. Fifteen hundred pound bull walrus? Polar bear don't give shit; he just drags its ass out of the water and eats it.
So when you go camping in the land of the polar bear should you be surprised when you wake up to find one of the hungry indigents gnawing on your leg? I think not. No doubt, Mr. Bear wandered into camp and was thinking, "Sweet! Here's dinner...and they are all pre-packaged in these convenient down bags! Bien manger!" Sadly, a teenage boy is dead here, but so is the polar bear. The bear was just being a bear. The people were just being plain stupid.
Special added bonus:
I am indebted to my bud, Ron Alberston for this. The "adventure campers" at least recognized that there were large, man-eating predators about, but apparently, took completely inadequate measures to protect themselves and their charges. Check out the link and note that their rifle - which they had to kill bears who lived on the island the "adventurers" were intruding on - misfired four out of four times. This just does not happen in real life. This tells me that the rifle the "adventure campers" had was pro forma. I suspect it had been purchased, along with ammunition, but no one had actually fired it and the four rounds that misfired had probably been sitting in the magazine for years. Again, the people in charge of this "adventure camp" just did not take polar bears seriously. Idiots.