Lonely Planet Writer

Czech tour group fined after polar bear attack

The leader of a tour group from Czech Republic has been fined for failing to take adequate precautions which could have prevented one of the group from being mauled by a polar bear on Svalbard in March.

A polar bear roams Svalbard.
A polar bear roams Svalbard. Image by Smudge 9000 / CC BY-SA 2.0

The group were on the Norwegian archipelago to watch the solar eclipse when 37-year-old Czech man, Jakub Moravec, was attacked in his tent. Local laws state that all tour groups must have adequate measures in place to protect people and animals and Assistant Governor Jens Olav Sæter said he believed it was the first time the law had been employed. The leader of the group was fined 10,000 kroner (US$1,200), and the bear – which survived the initial shots fired in self-defence, was later tracked and killed by professional hunters. Read more: thelocal.no