Polar bear shot dead after wounding cruise ship worker

A dead polar bear lays at the beach at Sjuøyane north of Spitzbergen, Norway, on July 28, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 29 July 2018
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Polar bear shot dead after wounding cruise ship worker

  • “The bear was killed by another employee on the boat”
  • The worker suffered head injuries shortly after landing on Spitzbergen island

OSLO: A polar bear was shot dead after attacking a German cruise ship worker on Norway’s Svalbard archipelago in the Arctic Ocean, the authorities said Sunday.
The unnamed man in his 40’s suffered head injuries shortly after landing on Spitzbergen island.
He was accompanying a tourist expedition from the MS Bremen of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises on Saturday.
“The bear was killed by another employee on the boat,” police commissioner Ole Jakob Malmo told AFP.
Hapag-Lloyd Cruises said it was “self-defense.”
“We greatly regret this incident,” said company spokesman Moritz Krause.
The injured employee was flown by helicopter to the local capital Longyearbyen and then on to Tromso on the mainland in the evening, Malmo said.
Tromso hospital told AFP the man’s life was not in danger and he was in a stable condition.
Polar bears have been protected in Norway since 1973 and nearly 1,000 were counted on Svalbard during a 2015 census.
The archipelago, roughly twice the size of Belgium, lies about 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) from the North Pole.
Five fatal polar bear attacks have been recorded on Svalbard in the last 40 years.
The most recent was in 2011 when a bear attacked a group of 14 people on a trip organized by a British schools association.
A 17-year-old Briton died and four other members of the expedition were hurt before the bear was killed.


Philippines’ Duterte pestered again as gecko stalls speech

Updated 20 September 2019

Philippines’ Duterte pestered again as gecko stalls speech

  • In a previous speech lambasting the Catholic clergy, a fly kept buzzing around him and landed on his forehead
  • While attacking the political opposiion during an election campaign, a big cockroach crawled up his shoulder and down his shirt

MANILA: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte just keeps getting bugged during his public speeches.
A noisy gecko was the latest wildlife contributor to an address by Duterte, interrupting the leader on Thursday evening just as he launched another tirade at human rights groups critical of his bloody war on drugs.
The reptile’s persistence caused laugher in the crowd of mostly soldiers, causing Duterte stop mid-sentence, turn to his left and pause for a while to see what the off-camera commotion was.
“You brought a gecko here?” he asked an official sitting behind him, drawing laughs.
Geckos are common across Southeast Asia. The small lizard-like reptiles are known for their ability to produce various loud sounds, from barks to chirps, to communicate or when threatened.
While activists accuse Duterte of cowing his opponents into silence, reptiles and insects have no qualms about pestering him during his often hours-long, televised addresses.
A big cockroach crawled up his shoulder and down his shirt during a speech in May when he was lambasting an opposition party ahead of a national election. He joked the cockroach was its supporter.
Two months later, a fly kept buzzing around him and landing on his forehead, just as he was berating his rivals in the Catholic clergy. He said in jest that the fly was acting on their orders.