Jakub Moravec was on a trip to try and watch the total solar eclipse which is predicted to occur on Friday when he was attacked by the polar bear. The animal shredded his tent before pulling him out by his arm as he slept. Moravec was part of a 7-person skiing trip in Svalbard, one of whom shot the polar bear as it tried to drag the victim out of his tent, writes Melissa Chan for New York Daily News.
During an interview with Norwegian media outlet NRK, Moravec described his reaction to the terrifying attack. “I woke when the bear stood on top of me. It went straight to my head,” he said.
Polar bear spotted earlier
The polar bear had been spotted in the general area over the course of the past few weeks, and the attack should provide a stark warning to those who perhaps do not fully appreciate the amazing power of polar bears. Following the first shot from the tourist, the bear was later killed by authorities.
“I did not have to think so much. I was initially scared afterwards when the bear was shot,” Moravec continued.
The area is a popular site for tourists who hope to watch the total solar eclipse on Friday, with visitors arriving from several countries, including Japan, Britain, France and the Netherlands. Local mayor Christin Kristoffersen said that the attack will hopefully serve as a “wakeup call” to tourists who remain in the area, camping in fragile tents.
Moravec was flown by helicopter to Longyearbyen hospital following the polar bear attack, which occurred in Fredheim, Tempelfjorden, according to the governor’s office. Local authorities are carrying out an investigation.
Norway’s remote Svalbard archipelago has also been the site of previous polar bear attacks. In 2011 a British schoolboy was tragically killed following an attack on a group of teenagers that were camping near the Von Postbreen glacier.
Moravec was lucky that his fellow group members were alert to the danger, and it seems remarkable that he managed to survive the attack, only suffering cuts to his face and arm.