Polar Bear Attacks Solar Eclipse Tourist In Norway

polar bear attack

A Czech tourist was mauled by a polar bear while sleeping on the remote archipelago of Svalbard in the Arctic on Thursday.

According to police, Vidar Arnesen was part of a group of six on a snow scooter and skip trip on the remote islands, which are more than 500 miles from mainland Norway. The group was camping close to the town of Longyearbyen.

Arnesen suffered mild injuries in the attack and will be released from the hospital later Thursday. No one else was injured in the attack.

One of Arnesen’s fellow travelers, Zuzana Hakova, was sleeping in a nearby tent when the attack occurred. She said her mother shot the bear three times and it fled. It was later found and killed.

[quote text_size=”small” author=”– Vidar Arnesen” author_title=”Polar bear attack victim”]

Now I am fine. I have some scratches in the face, on one arm and on the back. But I feel fine.


Lodging on Svalbard has been sold out for several years in preparation of the eclipse, according to the Herald Sun. With hotels and other lodgings sold out, many visitors have resorted to camping out in the freezing weather, including the Arnesen party. Visitors are reminded that polar bears roam the area, and that people should carry a firearm when moving away from the settlements.

The total solar eclipse on Friday will be more visible from Svalbard than anywhere else on earth. This will be the only total eclipse this year, and about 2,000 tourists are expected to travel to Svaldbard for the event, Discovery News reported.

About 3,000 polar bears live on Svalbard, compared to just 2,500 inhabitants. There have been 5 fatal polar bear attacks in the region in the last 40 years, the most recent of which in 2011 killed a 17-year-old British student.

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