Melanie Lancaster, Senior Specialist, Arctic species, WWF Arctic Programme, states the following:
WWF is deeply saddened to hear that a person was killed by a polar bear at a campsite near Longyearbyen, Svalbard. The polar bear was also killed in this incident of conflict. The authorities are investigating.
In the past couple of years, there have been several reports of incidents between tourists and bears in Svalbard.
The Norwegian Polar Institute monitors the Svalbard polar bear population annually. This research is supported by WWF. The Svalbard polar bear population is around 1,000 animals.
WWF works with governments and local communities across the Arctic to keep people and bears safe by implementing measures to avoid polar bear attacks as much as possible.
WWF Russia’s Polar Bear Patrol helps local communities reduce conflicts between animals and people. Over a period of four days, more than 60 polar bears gathered at Cape Kozhevnikova in Chukotka close to the village Ryrkaypiy looking for food.
How northern communities are keeping both polar bears and people safe.