Cruise ship guards first tried to scare polar bear away

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Norwegian authorities are defending the actions of guards from a German cruise ship that killed a polar bear that had attacked and injured a crew member, saying they at first tried to scare it away.

Police spokesman Ole Jakob Malmo says Monday that two members of the 12-man crew that set foot on the most northern island of the Svalbard archipelago ahead of tourists on Saturday first tried to ward off the bear “by shouting and making loud noises as well as firing a signal pistol, but to no effect.”

The incident sparked international outrage, with animal rights activists saying that it was wrong to begin with to let tourists from the MS Bremen cruise ship encroach upon territory known to be a habitat for the vulnerable species.

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