By Josie  July 28th, 2023

The Worst Polar Bear Attack Ever Recorded

In August 2011, the worst polar bear attack ever recorded occurred in Svalbard, Norway.

Let's uncover the details!

Svalbard is a remote archipelago situated in the Arctic Ocean, halfway between Norway and the North Pole.


Here, the population of polar bears surpasses that of humans, with around 2,400 people and 3,000 polar bears.

In the early morning, a polar bear mauled 17-year-old Horatio Chapple ato death nd severely injured four others.

The Attack

The campsite where the attack happened.

One of the leaders attempted to shoot the bear but his rifle did not go off.

The bear then attacked him, who unsuccessfully tried to gouge the bear’s eyes, before successfully shooting it.

Possibly - their warning tripwire system, meant to scare off polar bears by triggering a flare, had failed to activate.

Could the Attack Have Been Prevented?

Also, because of the dense fog on the night of the attack, no night watchman had been assigned.

As the Arctic ice sheet melts, polar bears’ traditional hunting grounds are diminishing, forcing them to look inland for food.

A Possible Consequence of Climate Change

#1 Bite Force = 1,200 psi #2 Speed on Land = 25 mph #3 Claw Length = 2 inches #4 Size = 1,600 lbs and 10 feet

Strengths of Polar Bears

Yes, Svalbard is one of the few places where tourists can venture to see polar bears in their natural habitat.

Can Tourists Visit Svalbard To See Polar Bears?

However, visiting Svalbard to see polar bears is not without risks – as the worst polar bear attack ever recorded proves.

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