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Daily Archives: 5. September 2020 − News & Stories


Phipp­søya polar bear (MS Bre­men, 2018): pro­cee­dings clo­sed

The legal case of the polar bear that was shot in 2018 by crew mem­bers of the Ger­man crui­se ship MS Bre­men is clo­sed, as the Sys­sel­man­nen infor­med in a press release on Fri­day.

Polar bear, Phippsøya

Polar bear on Phipp­søya, fee­ding on a car­cass.
It was most likely this bear that was shot
by crew mem­bers of MS Bre­men in this place 11 days later.

The inci­dend hap­pen­ed on 28 July 2018, when 14 crew mem­bers of MS Bre­men went ashore on Phipp­søya, which belong to the islands of Sjuøya­ne, to pre­pa­re a lan­ding for pas­sen­gers. The group inclu­ded the expe­di­ti­on lea­der, four polar bear guards, a pho­to­gra­pher and other crew mem­bers. Two polar bears guards were soon sent out to check a part of the ter­rain that could not be seen from the lan­ding area. They met the polar bear which had been hid­den in a ter­rain depres­si­on. The bear atta­cked one per­son, who suf­fe­red head inju­ries. The bear did not stop the attack in spi­te of several warning shots being fired, so two per­sons fired in total three shots against the bear which kil­led him. The per­son who was atta­cked sur­vi­ved with minor inju­ries.

The pho­to­gra­pher took pho­tos of the event, which hence was well docu­men­ted and easy to recon­struct.

Now the public pro­se­cu­tor of Troms and Finn­mark (north Nor­way) has deci­ded to clo­se the case. Shoo­ting a polar bear is princi­pal­ly ille­gal and under punish­ment, but this was now offi­cial­ly found to be a case of self defence.

The case that had been ope­ned against the com­pa­ny was also clo­sed. Here, the com­pa­nies safe­ty rou­ti­nes had been inves­ti­ga­ted.

The inves­ti­ga­ti­ons were finis­hed in Novem­ber 2019, but com­pe­tence bet­ween dif­fe­rent aut­ho­ri­ties was initi­al­ly unclear and then the Coro­na cri­sis led to fur­ther delays.

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