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Home* News and Stories → Polar bear attack in Tem­pel­fjord III

Polar bear attack in Tem­pel­fjord III

The polar bear that has atta­cked the Eng­lish camp in Tem­pel­fjord, lea­ving one 17-year young man dead and several ones inju­red, was an old, mal-nut­r­io­ned ani­mal that suf­fe­red from seve­re toot­ha­che. Accord­ing to spe­cia­lists, it is unknown if pain makes bears more aggres­si­ve but it is safe to assu­me that star­ving bears are likely to be more dan­ge­rous than well-fed ones.

What is known is that all tech­ni­cal safe­ty means fai­led to work in Tem­pel­fjord: The alarm fence did not trig­ger, and both signal pis­tol and rif­le fai­led as well.

The issue of the alarm fence has been mat­ter of deba­te for some time, regar­ding both reli­abli­ty and avai­la­bi­li­ty. The best sys­tem is of mili­ta­ry ori­gin, but soon out of stock in Lon­gye­ar­by­en. Retailers and Sys­sel­man­nen have tried to get access to more sup­plies, but so far without suc­cess.

The ques­ti­on is why the rif­le fai­led during the first four attempts to fire it. One opti­on is incor­rect hand­ling of the safe­ty pin. Next to the posi­ti­ons »safe« and »fire«, rif­les of the type Mau­ser, as the one used in Tem­pel­fjord, have a third posi­ti­on, which allows to repeat, but not to fire. If the safe­ty pin was acci­dent­al­ly in this posi­ti­on, then any attempt to fire and repeat would only result in empty­ing the magasi­ne without actual­ly firing, as hap­pen­ed in the camp. If this is the rea­son for what hap­pen­ed, is at the pre­sent time spe­cu­la­ti­ve.

Only when an alrea­dy inju­red group lea­der mana­ged to find one of the car­tridges on the ground and re-loa­ded the rif­le, he mana­ged to shoot the bear with one shot from a clo­se distance, thus pre­ven­ting even grea­ter dama­ge.

Rif­les for polar bear pro­tec­tion. Mau­sers midd­le and right.

Polar bear attack in Tempelfjord III - Rifles for polar bear protection.

By the way, my new book is in print and it can now be orde­red 🙂 it is a pho­to book with the tit­le “Nor­we­gens ark­ti­scher Nor­den (1): Spitz­ber­gen – vom Polar­licht bis zur Mit­ter­nachts­son­ne”, with Ger­man text Click here for fur­ther details!

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last modification: 2014-07-01 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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