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Polar Bear - Svalbard - 1

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There are more polar bears in Svalbard than people, in 2011 there were an estimated 3,000 bears against a human population of 2,394. When leaving the main habitations you are advised to carry an armament with you, a proper big polar bear scaring or killing armament as there have been instances of people being killed by bears because they didn't have a big enough gun.

A young man of 17 was killed in August 2011 and two of his companions badly injured while camping on Svalbard.

Probably the safest way to see polar bears is on a cruise where the bear is on land and you are in a boat, if you go on such a cruise you are almost guaranteed to see at least one bear, we saw an average of one a day for a fortnight.

Polar bears in Svalbard by the Norwegian Polar Institute

Picture copyright Paul Ward

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