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Daily Archives: 28. August 2020 − News & Stories


Sys­sel­man­nen relea­ses iden­ti­ty of vic­tim

The Sys­sel­man­nen has released the iden­ti­ty of the man who was kil­led by a polar bear last night at Lon­gye­ar­by­en cam­ping.

It was Johan Jaco­bus “Job” Koot­te, 38 years old, Dut­ch citi­zen.

Man killed by polar bear at Longyearbyen camping

The site of last night’s tra­gic events.

Job worked this sum­mer on the cam­ping. It was his second sea­son in this posi­ti­on.

The offi­cial release inclu­des the infor­ma­ti­on that Job was in his tent when he was atta­cked. The Sys­sel­man­nen has not yet released fur­ther details. Inves­ti­ga­ti­ons are ongo­ing.

The other per­sons who were on the cam­ping site at the time of the inci­dent were not phy­si­cal­ly inju­red. They were seen by medi­cal staff and psy­cho­lo­gi­cal­ly taken care of in Lon­gye­ar­by­en. The Sys­sel­man­nen is inter­viewing them as wit­nes­ses.

Many, inclu­ding the aut­hor of the­se lines, are sho­cked, and many thoughts are with Job, his fami­ly and clo­se ones.

Man kil­led by polar bear near Lon­gye­ar­by­en

At 3.50 am, the alarm went in the Sysselmanne’s office (poli­ce) in Lon­gye­ar­by­en: a polar bear had atta­cked and inju­red a man at the camp­si­te. The poli­ce and res­cue for­ces brought the man to the hos­pi­tal, whe­re he was decla­red dead.

The Sys­sel­man­nen have not yet released the iden­ti­ty of the decea­sed per­son in their press release.

Two shots were fired at the polar bear by other per­sons. The bear was later found dead at the car park of the air­port, only a few hund­red metres away.

Man killed by polar bear at Longyearbyen camping

The site of last night’s tra­gic events.

All other per­sons who were pre­sent at the cam­ping site were brought to a hotel in Lon­gye­ar­by­en. The Sysselmannen’s inves­ti­ga­ti­ons are ongo­ing.

Polar bears had been seen a num­ber of times in the vicini­ty of Lon­gye­ar­by­en, such as in Hior­th­hamn and near Toda­len (in Advent­da­len). A fema­le polar bear with a cub was seda­ted on Wed­nes­day and flown out to the north side of Isfjord. Addi­tio­na­ly, a sin­gle bear had been seen a cou­p­le of times in Hior­th­hamn and in Advent­da­len.

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