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British teen slain by polar bear in Norway Arctic

OSLO, Norway — A polar bear attacked a group of British students camping on a remote arctic glacier as part of an adventure holiday, killing a 17-year-old boy and injuring four other young people Friday before a trip member fatally shot the bear.

Two were hospitalized with severe injuries, according to the British Schools Exploring Society, the organizer of the trip.

The attack took place on the Svalbard archipelago, which is home to about 2,400 people and 3,000 polar bears.

The British Schools Exploring Society is affiliated with Britain's Royal Geographic Society and has run expeditions for young people to remote and challenging corners of the globe for at least 75 years.

The campers were in a group of 80 people, most of them between 16 and 23, the British Schools Exploring Society said. They were spending three to five weeks in the arctic to mix science experiments with adventure.

The bear attacked a group in the early morning, officials said.

The last fatal polar bear attack in Svalbard occurred in 1995, when two people were killed in separate incidents, according to Magnus Andersen, a researcher at the Norwegian Polar Institute. He said an average of three bears a year were killed from 1993 to 2004 in encounters with humans.

British teen slain by polar bear in Norway Arctic 08/05/11 [Last modified: Friday, August 5, 2011 11:28pm]
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